And then there were four

By on August 18, 2011 at 5:00 PM.

And then there were four

When Hewlett-Packard announced in April of 2010 that it planned to acquire Palm for $1.2 billion, I sent the following email to a friend on the software team at Palm: “Congrats on the stay of execution, buddy. I give it 18 months.” Of course I was jabbing him and later went on to offer more sincere congratulations in subsequent emails, but as they say, many a word of truth is spoken in jest. Here we are less than 16 short months after HP’s announcement, and webOS is no more. Well, to be fair, HP hasn’t yet said exactly what it will do with webOS: “HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.” Read on for my thoughts. More →

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RIP webOS: HP kills off its mobile operating system, considers PC spin-off and Autonomy buy

By on August 18, 2011 at 3:23 PM.

RIP webOS: HP kills off its mobile operating system, considers PC spin-off and Autonomy buy

Woh. HP on Thursday announced that it is putting an abrupt end to its efforts with webOS. The company says it will “discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.” The news comes just ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report. HP also confirmed that it may spin off its PC business and that it is currently in talks with Autonomy regarding “a possible business combination,” as was reported earlier on Thursday. HP acquired the webOS platform in 2010 as part of its $1.2 billion Palm buy. Since then, the company has launched a single tablet, the TouchPad, and two smartphones, the HP Pre2 and the HP Veer. The company’s full press release follows below.

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HP TouchPad just $379.99 today from Woot

By on August 5, 2011 at 8:20 AM.

HP TouchPad just $379.99 today from Woot

While HP holds a $100-off sale of its own from Friday through Sunday, the product peddlers over at Woot managed to procure an unknown number of webOS tablets on Friday, and it’s offering them at a big discount. Woot is currently selling the 16GB HP TouchPad tablet — new, not refurbished — for $379.99. Tack on the site’s customary $5 shipping and you’re still saving $15 compared to the lowest price we’ve seen for the slate. We reviewed the HP TouchPad back in June and we found that while webOS was a pleasure to use on a large-form device, the hardware was lacking. More →

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HP shakes up webOS team; moves Jon Rubenstein to product, puts Stephen DeWitt in charge

By on July 11, 2011 at 6:01 PM.

HP shakes up webOS team; moves Jon Rubenstein to product, puts Stephen DeWitt in charge

While HP didn’t exactly hit the ground running following its Palm acquisition, webOS is still one of our favorite mobile operating systems and we can’t wait for the Pre3 to drop at some point this summer. With that said, it looks like HP is moving some executives around, and for good reason. Jon Rubenstein, who was vice president and general manager of HP’s webOS global business unit is moving into an executive role as senior vice president of product innovation for the Personal Systems Group. Stephen DeWitt, who formerly occupied the role Rubenstein is taking over, will replace him as head of the webOS global business unit. Hit the break for HP’s press release.

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Android market share jumps as BlackBerry slides; smartphones now owned by 1 in 3 Americans

By on July 5, 2011 at 4:55 PM.

Android market share jumps as BlackBerry slides; smartphones now owned by 1 in 3 Americans

According to a new report from comScore, 1 in 3 Americans now own a smartphone. Google’s Android OS is ahead of the pack with a 38.1% share of the market during the 3-month period ending in May — up 5.1% from the last report in February. Apple’s iOS operating system jumped 1.4 percentage points to a 26.6% share, and RIM’s BlackBerry OS fell 4.3% to a 24.7% share of the market. Microsoft also dropped from a 7.7% share to a 4.8% share, and HP’s webOS fell from a 2.8% share to a 2.4% share in May. Manufacturer mobile subscriber market share remained relatively flat: Samsung still has a 24.8% share of the market according to comScore, followed by LG (21.1%, down 0.2 percentage points), Motorola (16.1%, down 1 percentage point), Apple (8.6%, up 1.2 percentage points), and RIM (8.1%, down 0.5 percentage points). Read on for the full release from comScore. More →

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HP ponders Windows 8 tablets

By on June 30, 2011 at 11:30 PM.

HP ponders Windows 8 tablets

On Friday, HP’s brand new webOS-powered TouchPad tablet will make its debut in the United States. Even though HP purchased Palm for $1.2 billion last year so that it could stray away from the Windows-powered tablet market by owning webOS, the company may soon build tablets running Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system. In a recent interview with Fast Company, HP’s president and chief technology officer Phil McKinney suggested that Windows 8 tablets could be in the pipeline. “I’m limited to what I can talk about with Windows 8,” McKinney says. “We’re working very closely with [Microsoft], and I’m going to leave it at that or I’m going to start getting myself into trouble.” We could take McKinney’s statement two ways. First, HP is already a Microsoft partner on Windows 7 powered devices, so to deny Microsoft support for Windows 8 could be a blow to the Redmond-based company. Or second, HP does have a Windows 8 powered tablet in the works, but doesn’t want to start spreading rumors, especially during the launch of the company’s new flagship TouchPad device. We’ll have to wait and see what HP decides to do, but it seems like a confusing move — at least from the customer perspective — for HP to offer both operating systems on its tablet devices. More →

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HP TouchPad review

By on June 29, 2011 at 8:30 PM.

HP TouchPad review

It has been exactly 140 days since Hewlett-Packard first unveiled the TouchPad, and I think of it as the first device to emerge from a post-acquisition Palm team that has really been tested over the past few years. To be fair, it will actually be the third webOS device to launch since HP took over Palm, but the the Pre 2 was a leftover from before the deal went through and the Veer never should have been been released. But yes, the Palm team has been through a lot: from botched acquisition talks, to the brink of collapse, to resurrection through Elevation Partners’ investments, to a brilliant new web-based mobile operating system, to the announcement of the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse, to BGR exclusively reviewing the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse before any other site on the planet, to the launch of the phone that would save the business from the brink of collapse, to the failure of the phone that would save its business from the brink of collapse, and finally, to HP. Can a company that once lead the industry come back to regain mind share, market share and profit share following a roller coaster ride like that? Hit the break to find out if the TouchPad pushes the company’s mobile business in the right direction or if it is another dud from a company that could be dominating the market.

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HP TouchPad hands-on!

By on June 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM.

HP TouchPad hands-on!

While our full review of the HP TouchPad is going up any minute, we wanted to give you guys a first impression overview of the first webOS tablet. From a hardware perspective, it’s actually a little shocking how the device looks and feels like an iPhone 3GS that’s gone under a rolling pin a couple times, or even a steamroller. From the glossy black plastic (which doesn’t help — the device feels pretty hollow, much like the 3GS) to even the placement of the power / lock / unlock and volume keys, this really is a tablet version of the iPhone 3GS casing-wise. While we appreciate the dual speakers on the HP TouchPad, they can get in the way when holding it one-handed. The tablet certainly has some decent specs, though we noticed a bunch of lag when using the device and jumping in and out of apps, scrolling through emails, zooming into webpages, and even flicking through contacts. All in all… well, check back for our review — it’s on the way! In the meantime, hit the break for our hands-on video.

UPDATE: Don’t forget to check out our full HP TouchPad review! More →

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Screenshots reveal webOS Skype integration

By on June 21, 2011 at 6:10 AM.

Screenshots reveal webOS Skype integration

HP’s webOS is already tightly integrated with a number of services but now it appears that the OS will soon offer Skype integration, too. According to leaked screenshots, users will soon be able to choose to route their calls directly through Skype from the phonebook application, an option that will no doubt save international callers a big chunk of change. Similarly, users may also be able to place Skype video calls, allowing them to use the front-facing camera on the Pre 3 for video chats. It’s unclear when the integration will be introduced, but this has us more excited than ever for the Pre 3 to finally hit store shelves. More →

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HP Pre 3 appears on U.K. retailer website, July 8th pegged as release date

By on June 16, 2011 at 8:40 AM.

HP Pre 3 appears on U.K. retailer website, July 8th pegged as release date

Hewlett-Packard finally announced details surrounding the launch of its first webOS tablet last week, but nary a peep was made about its upcoming flagship smartphone, the HP Pre 3. The TouchPad tablet will become available in the U.S. on July 1st starting at $499.99, and now it looks like the Pre 3 could launch exactly one week later on July 8th. U.K. retailer £349.99 (about $565) unlocked and contract-free, which is very reasonable for a brand new smartphone. On this side of the pond, we’re still expecting the Pre 3 to launch at $199.99 with a new two-year carrier agreement, and the availability of unlocked units is unknown. We’ve been waiting to get our hands on a production Pre 3 ever since we first saw the sleek smartphone back in early February, and it looks like the wait might almost be over. More →

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HP TouchPad launches July 1st, starts at $499.99

By on June 9, 2011 at 9:10 AM.

HP TouchPad launches July 1st, starts at $499.99

HP on Thursday announced that its HP TouchPad tablet will become available on July 1st. The TouchPad, which was first unveiled at a media event this past February, is the first webOS-powered tablet offering from HP. It features a 9.7-inch XGA display, a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and NFC capability that facilitates unique interactions between the slate and HP phones. Two versions of the TouchPad will be available initially: a 16GB version for $499.99 and a 32GB version for $599.99. HP also said a 3G model for AT&T will be available later this summer, though pricing has not been announced. Pre-orders for the Wi-Fi only models begin June 19th. HP’s full press release follows below. More →

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Apple’s iOS 5 notifications are great, but webOS is still better

By on June 8, 2011 at 11:30 AM.

Apple’s iOS 5 notifications are great, but webOS is still better

When Apple finally added cut, copy and paste support to iOS, it made the long and painful wait its customers endured completely worthwhile. Apple’s implementation was so much better than competing platforms, it really wasn’t even in the same league. The UI was fantastic and the operation was both intuitive and precise. This is what we have come to expect from Apple when it corrects its past mistakes and omissions. And yet with the introduction of a completely revamped notification system in iOS 5, the Cupertino-based technology giant took a different approach: it did not lead, it followed. I’ll elaborate… More →

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