HP's TouchPad was meant to run Android before the Palm acquisition | webOS Nation
 
 

HP's TouchPad was meant to run Android before the Palm acquisition 18

by Ryan St. Andrie Thu, 07 Jun 2012 6:57 pm EDT

The TouchPad was originally an Android Tablet?!

Some of you may be familiar with Josh Marinacci, who used to be employed by HP as part of the webOS Developer Relations crew. In his tenure with HP he had his hands in a lot of great things and really evangelized webOS as a platform. Ultimatiely, he ended up leaving HP back in February and found his way to Nokia in May. Before you all start to cry foul play, he's not working in the Windows Phone division so he's not exactly "sleeping with the enemy". He's a recent father and after many years of burning the candle at both ends he just needed a job with a slower pace so that he may spend more time with his family. 

With that said he recently put up a post on his personal blog in response to yesterday's in depth artcle of the rise and fall of webOS by Chris Zeigler on The Verge. In his blog post he has some rather interesting corrections and additions to the epic tale of webOS from an insiders perspective. We'd love to tell you all about it however some things are best told from their source. It's a pretty good read if your'e looking for a little more insight as to what went down behind the scenes. Josh said to think of it as a "directors commentary if the director was forced to sit in the back and watch through a 3 inch screen", which we would have to say is a pretty accurate statement.

Perhaps the most interesting revelation in Josh's post was that the HP TouchPad was originally supposed to be an Android tablet. Whether or not this tablet was ever meant to see the light of day will never be known but once HP aquired Palm and webOS it was an obvious choice to put their own OS on the now defunct tablet. This shouldn't really be too much of a surprise since there were several TouchPads rumored to have shipped with Android installed instead of webOS.

Quite ironically after webOS hardware was canceled Android ended up making its way back onto the TouchPad anyhow thanks to the great work from the CyanogenMod team. Even more ironic than that is HP had once planned to create one of many "me too tablets" if they had in fact pushed an Android tablet to the market. Then they scrapped that plan in favor of being original and making the TouchPad with their newly aquired OS webOS. Now they will be making "me too tablets" in the soon to be sea of Windows 8 tablets. Life is sometimes funny like that! Maybe if we are lucky they will release some type of dual booted Windows 8/webOS tablet in the future but we doubt that will ever happen. 

Source: Josh Marinacci; More: Android Central 

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18 Comments

Is this why Android boots up so much faster than WebOS? Are those old plans really scrap, or do they still exist so that we can use our camera and microphone on the Android side? These and other questions will be answered on the next episode of SOAP. If any of you remember Soap. I use to love that show.
Now, with WebOS I live it.

Nope, webOS just has longer-than-average boot times compared to everything else.

The old plans are scrap AFAIK

Confused? You won't be after the next episode ....

Sure I remember. It was my favourite. :-)

Does give away my age though! Soap was much more fun then the WebOS saga.

- Jan

Benson, after looking at what remains of webOS:

"I ain't cleanin' that up."

good times

If they had the work already done, it seems like instead of the firesale they should have just re-tooled immediately and released an Android version. Maybe release a voluntary patch for existing owners. At say $300 or so, this would have been a kick-ass Honeycomb tablet for the times. Heck, it's a pretty decent ICS tablet now, especially at the firesale price.

If they were willing to sell for $300, I don't think it would have flopped with WebOS. But that probably would have been selling it at a loss and they weren't willing to lose some money to establsih WebOS as a real competitor.

I myself enjoy using webOS, Android is a miss, but I guess if all you care is about apps go for it, That's why I have a iPad 2 too!

I enjoy webos too, check this out, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPRc1XFT2D0

"We were the #2 tablet even before the fire sale. A weak #2, but still #2. Not bad for a 1.0 product. If we continued working on the software, pushing out consistent updates, and shipped the Opal then we would have gone into the Christmas season with a strong momentum. "

This was the part that really vexed me at the end of last year: the whole ecosystem was READY. The money had pretty much already been spent. Pre3's were already built and boxed, with the #1 and #2 US carriers awaiting their shipments. The 4G Touchpads were just about to launch and the Go (Opal) was 2 days away from production it turns out! There was no conceivable reason not to just proceed with all of that, THEN consider the next steps after Christmas.

I remain convinced that Leo was bordering on insane.

"Of note: when Meg Whitman was asked in an all-hands meeting how the board could have voted for such a decision, she said the board was "informed" of the plan, not consulted. No vote was required or taken."

Fascinating.

I just can't see the TouchPad as originally an Android tablet with inductive charging and Palm Pre looks, that would be quite the coincendence.

That's been reported before by others with similar inside knowledge. They obviously changed the cosmetics of the thing a bit, and added inductive charging (hardly difficult), but the basic design and hardware spec was dug up out of HP's trashcan. A Palm design would have had a gesture area and no physical button. Reportedly the Go was more Palm's design, but as a companion to the original TouchPad much was dictated by the TouchPad's design, and therefore by the old HP design.

It was reported previously that HP upper management insisted on using the old design to save money. Further proof that after Hurd was ousted, HP regarded Palm & webOS as a costly burden rather than a valuable asset.

You sir are correct. A heavy contributor to the ultimate failure was HP's desire to treat the OS like a plug in commodity rather that to play on it's strengths and shore up it's weaknesses. It is so obvious that they came to figure (at some point) just rolling out something, 'anything' would generate income as though a table purchase was just a fad.

This is why their Windows tablet effort will be an utter failure as well, unless they are going to come at it with a whole new attitude. Or get a very long exclusive.

"Maybe if we are lucky they will release some type of dual booted Windows 8/webOS tablet in the future"

unfortunately there are rumours that MS is going to lock down the bootloaders of ARM windows (to stop android being put on them) so if true it would require x86 version of webOS (which Verge said had stopped being worked on)

They're more than rumors, they're in the hardware requirements spec for Windows 8.

i remember that HP already had an Android Device... one of my employees even sold one... the Compaq AirLife 100... it was a SmartBook... hahhaah... http://h41104.www4.hp.com/promociones/compaq_airlife/home.html

here's the Datasheet... in spanish... sorry... https://www.box.com/s/312fe0d6947f7d1e9f9f
just scroll down for the specs... 1GHz.. 512MB... touchscreen...
and it was available in wifi only and for Cellular companies as well... here in Mexico for Movistar... in Spain Telefonica Movistar...

So I guess HP can still make webOS Devices... since webOS does not have the gesture area anymore, and they in fact made one Android Tablet, of course, without the webOS Hardware team that they didn't had... and do not have now... so it's not THAT hard for them to release new webOS devices... hope for a miracle... the HP Pre4 maybe... same as the Pre3 but with a quad-core processor... 2 GB of RAM... 12MP kickass camera... Touch-to-Share-Them-All (NFC, Touch-to-Share, Beam, and more) of course TouchStones... oh! i think it's to much dream... but i still have hope... ah! and a COOL 720p (at least) Super AMOLED XD... or a Flexible dispaly... aaahhajaj.... too much... again....

RQ

PS: HP Pre4 @ $499.00 USD wich will be the coast of production hahaha... no contract...

webOS [[[ ]

and the HP Pre4 will include a FREE 4-Pack Bathroom-Paper Roll with a Leo Apotheker Picture with the mouth wide open... =O ahaahahah...

sorry again...

RQ

I KEPT TELLING EVERYONE THIS, but nobody believed me. Home button and no gesture area == Android, NOT webOS!

VINDICATED!!!