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HP Discontinues WebOS Phones and Tablets.

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by bobukcat, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably stating the obvious, but the key to webOS's survival, IMHO, will be if hardware manufacturers with already razor thin profit margins choose to deploy it as a way to offer buyers lower cost tablet options, free from the "Microsoft tax" they currently pay on Android devices.

    I think this is especially true for makers of "specialty" Android tablets, like B&N's Nook and the Kindle Fire. AFAIK, B&N is still in court fighting the Microsoft tax. If they lose, no doubt the Fire will be Microsoft's next target in court. Given those devices use a custom UI and limit what apps are available anyway, it probably won't matter much to them which OS is running underneath the covers.

    And we still don't know how Google's acquisition of Motorola will play out. If Motorola tablets and phones get favored treatment, it might force players like HTC, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer and Asus to look at alternatives. Outside the US, e.g., Samsung is already pouring lots of development effort into Bada, which is a very slick alternative to Android and iOS, IMHO. There's a neat Bada 2.0 video here.

    Just my .02. :p
     
  2. bobukcat

    bobukcat Hall Of Fame

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    Valid points, but if I'm a hardware manufacturer I don't know that it's worth the gamble. How many apps are available for WebOS? I'm not sure but it's certainly a fraction of what is in the Android Market. Google certainly doesn't care if B&N and Amazon use WebOS (especially if they run a heavily customized version of WebOS) instead of Android for a non-Google certified device like the Nook / Fire because they aren't making anything off of either of those devices now.

    Any new OS (look at the current adoption rate of WP7) is going to have a very hard time penetrating the market. Bada certainly looks interesting and WebOS may not face a MS "tax" today but if either of those achieve a significant market share you'll probably have MS and Apple filing patent infringement cases against those too. At least with Google (especially if the MMI acquisition goes through and MMI continues their recent success against Apple in the patent cases) you have some incredibly deep pockets and a significant IP portfolio behind you to help fight the battles. I don't think HP is going to have much stake in doing the same for WebOS.

    Don't get me wrong, I like WebOS and I'm pleased to see it being released to the open source community, but it sounds like that won't be fully completed until late in 2012 and they'll just be even farther behind the curve by then. If I'm an application developer why waste my time (even if it's a relatively small effort to port applications) porting to WebOS instead of writing something new for Android or iOS that have massive market share? This is the same problem WP7 is currently facing and will most likely continue to face until all the money MS poured into Nokia starts to pay off in terms of solid hardware making their OS widely available.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if it's much of a gamble, because they'd be using the same hardware they manufacture for Android. Similar to how PC manufacturers can offer Linux instead of Windows at a lower price point, tablet manufacturers could offer webOS or Android.
    My point in bringing up Nook and Fire is that B&N and Amazon may be charged with the Microsoft tax, so webOS could be a way for them to improve their razor thin margins on those devices.

    A bit OT, but since you mentioned it, I'll bet Google does care that Amazon and B&N use Android, but in a negative way. Not only are they benefiting from Google's IP by using Android in a way that cuts off any revenue stream back to Google, but it seems to me that every $200 Fire that's sold is likely a 7" Android tablet that won't be sold, which directly impacts Google's bottom line. Just my .02.
     
  4. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    as of this moment (12:35 pm Eastern), Woot! is offering refurbed 32 gig Touchpads for $219 plus $5 shiipping.
     
  5. bobukcat

    bobukcat Hall Of Fame

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    Certainly they care that they are selling a very popular product that directly competes with Android tablets, I didn't mean to infer they wouldn't. I just meant that at that point it doesn't matter if it's running customized Android, WebOS, Linux, or whatever - it's a competitive product.
     
  6. Feb 7, 2012 #146 of 147
    trdrjeff

    trdrjeff Icon

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  7. Feb 7, 2012 #147 of 147
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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