Former Palm CEO and current Senior Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Palm Global Business Unit Jon Rubinstein reportedly sent a memo to his team on Friday in order to address the less-than-stellar reviews the company’s new TouchPad tablet received from press and bloggers. Likening HP’s position with webOS to Apple’s position with Mac OS X year ago, Rubinstein reminds his team that despite the deficiencies mentioned in reviews, the company’s vision for webOS was recognized and reviewers as a whole see webOS’ potential. ”If you’ve seen the recent TouchPad reviews you know that the industry understands HP’s vision and sees the same potential in webOS as we do,” Rubinstein wrote in the memo. “David Pogue from the New York Times says ‘there are signs of greatness here.’ (I’ve included links to David’s review and others below.) You’ve also seen that reviewers rightly note things we need to improve about the webOS experience. The good news is that most of the issues they cite are already known to us and will be addressed in short order by over-the-air software and app catalog updates. We still have work to do to make webOS the platform we know it can be, but remember…..it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” BGR reviewed the HP TouchPad last month, and our determination was well-aligned with the consensus. Despite bogging and lackluster hardware, we saw great potential in webOS moving forward as HP attempts to gain mind share and market share in the already crowded smartphone and tablet spaces. Rubinstein’s full memo follows below.
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.
HP has posted a new video for its highly anticipated TouchPad tablet on YouTube, and it highlights several of the tablet’s distinguishing features. In the three minute clip, HP demos the ability to manage tasks simultaneously, the speed of the dual-core Qualcomm processor, HP Synergy, light gaming, HTML5 and Adobe Flash support, Citrix Receiver, video calling, and HP’s Touch To Share technology for keeping your webOS phone and tablet in sync. The TouchPad is set to debut on July 1st for $499.99. Hit the jump to see the video for yourself. More →
The HP Veer might not be the webOS smartphone we’re most anxious to see launch, but there’s no question this petite phone packs a punch — and according to an event invitation revealed by webOS enthusiast blog PreCentral, the Veer will finally touch down in early May. HP is sending out invitations to a launch party for the Veer on May 2nd in California, and launch parties are typically accompanied by… launches. What’s more, those those who sent in an affirmative RSVP supposedly received instructions via email to bring an ID badge or a business card from AT&T or Best Buy in order to gain entry to the event. As such, an AT&T launch is likely a pretty safe bet. We took a hands-on look at the Veer back in February and the solid build of this tiny smartphone definitely impressed us, but we weren’t sure the tiny 2.6-inch touchscreen display had a place in the age of supersized smartphones. As an aside, it looks like that narrowed gap HP CEO Leo Apotheker claimed we would see between HP’s product announcements and launches isn’t so narrow after all. Apotheker said we should expect webOS devices to launch “within weeks” of HP’s February event, however — though we suppose the 12-weeks between HP’s Veer announcement and launch is, technically, within weeks. More →
The brood over at PreCentral have managed to acquire a leaked copy of HP’s webOS 3.0 beta 1 software development kit (SDK). Why is this a good thing? Because contained within said SDK rests a TouchPad, webOS 3.0 emulator, of course. While emulators only provide 50% of the TouchPad story — the other half being hardware — it is useful to get a high-level overview of what user interface will look like. If you want to whet your appetite for this summers TouchPad release, hit the jump. There’s an eighteen minute video overview awaiting your scrutiny. Be sure to click through the read link as well for a host of screen grabs. More →
WebOS enthusiast blog PreCentral.net on Thursday published a series of screenshots from HP’s upcoming webOS 3.0 operating system for the TouchPad tablet. The images were pulled from an emulator as opposed to an actual device but we can still see several areas of the OS such as the Web browser, the virtual keyboard, Bing Maps, the music player and the messaging app. BGR took a hands-on look at the HP TouchPad when it was announced in February. We found the tablet to be quite impressive, especially in its integration with webOS-powered HP smartphones. HP’s CEO said in January that the company would be narrowing the gap between device announcements and launches, yet HP still has not announced release details for the TouchPad or the two smartphones announced in early February, the Pre 3 and Veer. Hit the break for more images of webOS 3.0. 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 →
Hewlett-Packard’s first webOS-powered tablet will launch this April, a new report claims. Industry watcher DigiTimes cites sources from within HP’s component suppliers in stating that manufacturers will begin shipping the TouchPad by the end of March. The TouchPad, which will launch with webOS 3.0, will then be ready for release some time in April. The report goes on to estimate that HP intends to sell between 4 and 5 million TouchPad units and between 45 and 48 million notebook computers and tablet PCs combined in 2011. HP has not provided any specific information in terms of a launch date or pricing for the TouchPad, which we got up close and personal with earlier this month. More →