HP kills the TouchPad and thats not all

Remember the HP TouchPad, the most iPad-y of the iPad-a-likes? Well, you can forget about it again: HP's killed it. "Sales of the TouchPad are not meeting our expectations," HP boss Leo Apotheker said on Thursday, also commenting that "the tablet effect is real". In other words, the iPad is eating into the PC business and the TouchPad wasn't good enough to stop it.

The TouchPad isn't the only casualty of HP's move: Palm smartphones have been chopped too, and the firm is actively investigating ways to sell off its PC business. That's a big deal: HP is the second biggest PC manufacturer in the world. So what's going on? The short answer is margins: PC profits have been desperately thin for years, and the market continues to slow down. HP is planning to do what IBM did seven years ago: dump the hardware and concentrate on more lucrative business services.

PCs aren't finished, but the excitement has moved to mobile - so on the face of it, HP's decision to dump the Palm Pre and the TouchPad doesn't make sense. However, when you look back at the relatively uninspiring TouchPad launch and HP's apparent lack of interest in its own product, it's apparent that HP's heart wasn't really in it. Apotheker inherited the WebOS and tablet projects, but his background is in selling business software and services - so at the first sign that the TouchPad wasn't doing the business, Apotheker saw the opportunity to cancel it.

So where does that leave WebOS, which attracted glowing reviews? Right now it's in limbo, but HP is muttering about possibly licensing its impressive mobile OS to other companies. One firm that might be interested is Amazon, who just happens to have HP executive and former Palm boss Jon Rubenstein on its board. Could we see a WebOS-powered Kindle tablet? Stranger things have happened...

Related posts:

  1. Is Dr Dre the iPad killer? Dr Dre - who, like Dr Fox, isn't a real...
  2. Everyone wants an Amazon tablet Apple dominates the tablet market, but that doesn't mean there...
  3. It’s Time for Tablets Big news in electronic publishing: Time Inc is bringing its...