Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm, has left HP. AllThingsD broke the news Friday afternoon, noting that Rubinstein had served his promised 12-24 month tenure with the company before leaving. “Jon has fulfilled his commitment and we wish him well,” HP spokeswoman Mylene Mangalindan told AllThingsD. Rubinstein led the team responsible for the original iPod and left Apple in 2006 to eventually join Palm as CEO in 2009. While at Palm, Rubinstein was responsible for, among other projects, the development of the Palm Pre and Palm’s webOS mobile operating system, both of which were transferred to HP in 2010 When it acquired Palm for $1.2 billion. HP has since open-sourced the mobile operating system after failing to gain traction with its Pre, Pixi, Veer and TouchPad products. More →
Hewlett-Packard’s webOS hardware is dead and buried but the fate of the platform itself remains to be determined. HP may hold on to the OS and use it on printers and PCs, and there have been plenty of rumors surrounding talks the company is having in an effort to license the platform to other firms. According to an interview in French newspaper Le Figaro, HP CEO Meg Whitman has gone on record in stating that a decision regarding the fate of webOS will be made within two weeks. HP took possession of webOS when it acquired Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010, and that buy yielded one failed tablet that was discontinued shortly after launching, three failed smartphones and soon, perhaps, the death of webOS itself. The promising mobile platform BGR once heralded as a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant smartphone market now finds itself an afterthought in a space dominated by two major players: Apple and Google. As RIM prepares a fresh new OS in an attempt to regain momentum and Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform looks ready to take off, HP and any potential webOS licensees certainly have their work cut out for them. More →
Oh nooo. That was the first thought that crossed my mind as I began to read Jon Zilber’s post on HP’s company blog. Quoting Mark Twain? Oh no he didn’t. In a nutshell, Zilber’s intent was to correct the world’s press, which collectively played Taps while standing over webOS’s grave this past week. “To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports about the demise of webOS have been off the mark,” Zilber wrote. “HP has made these tough decisions to ensure that our efforts with webOS remain tightly focused. Far from burying webOS, our goal is to ensure the platform’s evolution as a robust operating system for an increasingly mobile and connected world.” OK, time to set the record straight. Read on for more.
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.
It has been more than six months since HP officially took the wraps off of the Pre3 and it looks like the company is finally getting ready to bring the phone to market. Pre-orders for an unlocked model of the Pre3 have started on HP’s official German website, but don’t get too excited: the German variant has a QWERTZ keyboard instead of the QWERTY layout we’re accustomed to. Other specs include a 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor, a 3.6-inch 800 x 480-pixel resolution display and a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording HD video. The German Pre3 is priced at €349 ($500) and HP expects the phone to ship within one to two weeks. We expect to hear more about U.S. availability shortly now that the device is launching in other parts of the world. More →
HP is working on phones and tablets with built-in near-field communication (NFC) technology for mobile payments, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Much like Google Wallet, which will soon launch for the Nexus S and eventually other Android devices, HP hopes its customers will be able to use the company’s products to make mobile purchases in retail outlets. Similarly, HP has a plan to create an entire ecosystem where users will be able to to receive coupons or other benefits, such as loyalty points, from NFC-enabled advertisements. While sources told Bloomberg the products could launch by year-end, HP hasn’t been known to deliver new mobile devices to the market very quickly in the past. It’s also still unclear who the company’s mobile payment partners will be. More →
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 →
HP announced today that the latest installation in the Angry Birds franchise, Angry Birds Rio, is now available for download from the webOS App Catalog. The game sports 60 different levels across two different episodes, and Rovio promises to provide episodic updates throughout the rest of this year. If you’re tired of killing little green pigs, have no fear, the goal this time around is to attack angry monkeys and free other caged fowl. Angry Birds Rio is available for $1.99 on the Palm Pre, Pre Plus and Pre 2, provided that you’re running webOS 1.4.5 or later. More →
During its webOS CONNECT event in London on Wednesday, HP announced that webOS 3.0 beta is now available for developers taking part in its Early Access program. The SDK includes full support for HP’s new Enyo apps framework, which offers hardware acceleration, browser-based development, better performance, support for HTML 5 standards, and more. PreCentral says the Early Access program should be relatively easy to get into, provided that you’re actually a webOS developer. The webOS 3.0 operating system powers the HP TouchPad, which we had a chance to see up close back in February. HP also announced plans to launch a revamped developer portal located at devleoper.palm.com, although it didn’t specify exactly that would happen. More →
We have to admit, HP’s timing on the Pre 2 in the U.S. is a little funny. Just one day after the announcement that the Pre 3 will be here this summer, HP and Verizon Wireless made the Pre 2 available for pre-order. You can reserve yourself the webOS 2.0 handset for $99, with delivery occurring on February 17th. We’re not sure why anyone would opt for the Pre Deuce with the Tre set to drop this summer, but it’s nice to have options. Anyone out there with that crazy look in their eye going to order the Pre 2?
We’ve just scored some hands-on time with HP’s latest and greatest smartphone and needless to say, we have some quick preliminary thoughts and feedback to share. We’re not going to beat around the bush here… this is the webOS smartphone we’ve been waiting for. When Palm debuted webOS on the Palm Pre, we were blown away. The OS was truly a breath of fresh air in a smartphone industry that was starting to look very flat in terms of appealing options. As much as we loved the OS is as disappointed we were in the hardware, however. The build was bad, the keypad was entirely too small and the display was miles behind the competition. The Pixi hardly helped Palm’s case, of course, and the Pre 2 is a phone we would have just as soon seen HP scrap. The Pre 3 is webOS’s saving grace in the near-term smartphone space. The build and feel are as close to perfect as we can hope for, the 3.6-inch 480 x 800-pixel display is sharp and stunning, and the keyboard is finally — finally — spread out and usable. WebOS also screams on this puppy thanks to Qualcomm’s next-generation 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor, offering a fluid UX that rivals even the slickest of smartphones currently on the market. Definitely check out our HP Pre 3 gallery below and don’t forget to view our hands-on impressions of the HP Veer and HP TouchPad as well!
Speaking at HP’s webOS Developer Day in New York City, developer advocate Josh Marinacci noted that webOS 2.0 would be coming to all webOS devices “in the coming months.” While the timeline lacks the specificity we prefer, it is nice to know that the full array of Palm devices will get the new OS goodies soonish. Hit the jump to see the full presentation from Mr. Marinacci.
Oh Palm/HP, why do you continue to taunt those from your home country? Two weeks ago, the Palm Pre 2 — complete with webOS 2.0 — launched on wireless provider SFR in France. Now… before any U.S. company has even gotten a sniff, HP is launching a SIM-free Pre 2 in the UK. Blog Pocket-lint is reporting that HP confirmed the unlocked, unbranded Pre 2 will be available to our friends across the pond starting tomorrow; price was not disclosed.
Rumors — that HP actually started via its Facebook page — indicated that the device would be available to developers here in the U.S. starting November 8th. Sadly, said rumors did not materialize. Looks like those here in the U.S. of A. still longing to get their hands on webOS 2.0 will just have to long a little… um, longer? More →