HP to shut down operations for webOS devices


IT manufacturer says products such as its TouchPad tablet, which only launched in the UK last month, have not met expectations

Hewlett Packard (HP) is to discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically its TouchPad tablet and webOS mobile handsets.

The company said the devices have not met internal milestones and financial targets but added it will “continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward”.

In an earnings call yesterday (August 18), HP chief executive Leo Apotheker said: “The impact of the economy has hit consumer sales, and the tablet effect is real. Our webOS devices have not gained enough traction in the marketplace with consumers, and we see too long a ramp up in the market share.

“Continuing to execute our current device approach in this market space is no longer in the best interest of HP and HP’s shareholders.”

The decision comes just over a month after the TouchPad launched in the UK. HP bought handset manufacturer Palm in March 2010 for $1.2 billion (£788 million), effectively signalling its intent to make more aggressive moves into the smartphone market with Palm’s webOS platform being the main driver behind this strategy.