HP To Stop Making webOS Smartphones, Might License the OS to Others

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HP has just unveiled a major change in its webOS strategy. It is going to stop producing smartphones and tablets running this operating system, but isn’t dropping it completely.

HP webOSA statement just released by the company says, in part, 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.”

The WSJ is reporting that among the options HP is considering is licensing the webOS to other companies to make smartphones and tablets. The company is apparently still interested in its plan, announced earlier this year, to make accessories based on the webOS, such as printers.

More About the webOS
The webOS was developed by Palm, Inc. as the replacement for the Palm OS. However, this company was too late bringing its new operating system to the market, and it ran into great difficulties compete against the success of of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS.

HP purchased Palm last year primarily to get the webOS. However, this company didn’t have much more luck with it. Its first two products, the HP Veer 4G and HP TouchPad, saw mediocre demand at best. 

A Major Shakeup
This is part of a larger plan that may see HP spinning off its division that makes laptops and PCs as a separate company. The statement released today said that its “board of directors has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG). HP will consider a broad range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction.”

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