Hewlett-Packard has officially been defeated as far as tablets and smartphones are concerned. In addition to spinning off their personal computer business, HP announced that they will discontinue their support of WebOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and WebOS phones.
The report comes to us from the Wall Street Journal, and also mentions that while HP will no longer support these WebOS devices, they will continue to work on the WebOS platform in order to optimize the value of the platform in the future. HP is also abandoning their PC hardware design and manufacturing efforts.
HP’s WebOS devices never really took off, and have thoroughly failed to thrive in a market dominated by Apple’s iOS devices. This news follows continued reports of HP desperately lowering the pricing on their TouchPad tablet in an effort to increase its adoption. Those efforts have apparently been unsuccessful.
While this news is unlikely to affect the tablet market significantly, due to HP’s weak position in that market, it is significant in the sense that it marks a critical time for manufacturers competing in the tablet industry, as putting up a fight against Apple and the iPad is much more difficult than it seems.