Is HP planning a webOS-based smartphone reboot?

Is HP planning a webOS-based smartphone reboot?Maybe it's a bit of autumn nostalgia brought on by the falling leaves, or the fact that seemingly every other tech company in the world is putting out new mobile hardware right now, but HP reckons it wants to give the whole smartphone thing another go.

So says HP CEO Meg Whitman, who reckons the company should focus its efforts on producing a compelling entry-level device for emerging markets.

For most mobile technology fans, mentioning HP immediately brings on thoughts of the company's ill-fated efforts to muscle into the mobile game after buying out Palm and taking over control of webOS.

That misadventure took place before Whitman's time, though, and it's clear the new boss wants to be able to tell a different story once her own tenure comes to a close.

“In the end, I would love to be able to provide all the way from the most fabulous workstations … to desktops, to laptops, to our tablets and convertibles, all the way to the smartphone,” Whitman told Fox Business News.

“But we did take a detour into smartphone, and we’ve gotta get it right this time. So my mantra to the team is 'better right, than faster than we should be there' so we’re working to make sure that, when we do this, it will be the right thing for HP and we will be successful.”

She might need a bit of a shake-up to the wording of that mantra, but we think we get what she means. And it's probably as good a strategy as any right now considering how badly things went wrong last time.

HP certainly can't expect webOS' strength alone to carry it to mobile hardware success – it didn't work last time and the platform certainly hasn't improved its position relative to its rivals since the very public failure of the Pre3 and Veer smartphones and the TouchPad tablet last year.

Targeting emerging markets effectively gives HP the chance at a fresh start by aiming at markets where webOS has no real legacy to begin with, so the failure of HP's 2011 releases hasn't already poisoned the mobile waters.

“There will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or a desktop, they will do everything on a smartphone. We are a computing company [and] we have to take advantage of that form-factor,” Whitman added.

She almost makes it sound simple, doesn't she?

Read more about: WebOS

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13 comments

Pondlife  Sep. 17, 2012 at 10:48

No actual mention of webos in her interview so I'll go with no.

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 17, 2012 at 11:19

No actual mention of webos in her interview so I'll go with no.
Same, I'd go with Android (as the TouchPad was originally meant to be).

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 17, 2012 at 14:57

I want a Pixi with a higher res screen, a sturdy back, bigger battery, and, damn-straight, webOS 3!!! Make my year, HP :p

chepi  Sep. 17, 2012 at 15:29

I hope they use open webOS for there new phone because android sucks.

Pondlife  Sep. 17, 2012 at 16:00

Yeah regardless of wanting it, do you actually think they'll revisit it?

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 17, 2012 at 19:23

Yeah regardless of wanting it, do you actually think they'll revisit it?

Hard to tell. And hey - they p*ssed off practically every app developer who ever made a webOS app.

Pondlife  Sep. 17, 2012 at 19:29

That will certainly help them if they did want to go back to it....

iluv2workout  Sep. 17, 2012 at 21:57

I love web Os and have a Hp palm pre 2 keep it going Hp PLEASE!!!!

merlin29  Sep. 18, 2012 at 18:30

Hi as an owner of HP touchpad & pre2/3. Phones, I like webOS and use them in preference
to my Android phone, HP should have developed it further with better hardware,
I would buy if they use open webOS, and the unreleased Touchpad Go would have been a brilliant 7" tablet,

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 18, 2012 at 18:46

Agree with you 2 :)
I f*cked up my Pre 3 with a dodgy micro-sim adapter; but It was one of the 3 most enjoyable phones I used in the past 18 months or so...
Every day I got my finger on the one-click order button to replace it... I even considered a Veer - hahaha
Times are tough when you don't wanna be stuck between iOS and Android...a Veer FFS ;)

Pondlife  Sep. 18, 2012 at 19:03

Well at least they know they can sell as many as last time....

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 18, 2012 at 19:14

Hahaha....

Urucubaca  Sep. 20, 2012 at 18:34

Yes, I have a TouchPad and Pre3 ...

I use both in preference to my iPhone and iPad ...

What would have been good would have been a full touch screen webOS Device, and an iPod developer ...


Realistically, I would buy the next generation webOS phone, tablet (and if they made an iPod competitor, THAT) ...

webOS is really really beautiful ... SO much potential ... Especially with those cards!!!!

HP should just by the Homebrew app companies, and have them help develop webOS 4.0!!!!

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