It’s alive!

A few days ago I published a blog post on the death of WebOS.

HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones.

One of the consequences of the HP announcement was that initially in the US many resellers immediately dropped the price of the HP TouchPad 16GB model to $99

I noted on the Twitter that if this happened in the UK then I would probably get one. Well as it happens that is what happened, well it happened to the price. The Dixon’s Store Group cut the prices of the TouchPad to £89 for the 16GB model and £115 for the 32GB one.

Within what felt like minutes had sold out on the PCWorld, Currys’ and Dixons’ websites. According to the various websites the stores locally to me had no stock either. Other resellers still were charging £300+ though.

The TouchPad itself, running WebOS has its problems and is probably the reason why HP have dropped it. There are various reports that WebOS could run twice as fast on the iPad as it could on the TouchPad. The conclusion from that was it wasn’t WebOS that was the problem, it was the hardware. The reviews of the TouchPad indicated that the main problem was one of sluggishness, lack of responsiveness and a lack of apps. If all you are going to use a tablet for is web, e-mail and social networking then the lack of apps is less of an issue. The recent Kindle web app also shows that a lack of proprietary apps may not be so problematic either. So what about the speed? Well if I was paying £400 for the TouchPad then yes I would be disappointed, but paying £89 then I would be a lot less fussy and I am sure that this is the reason why it is selling out here in the UK and in the US.

There is also a lot of stuff on the web about converting the TouchPad to run Android. If this can be done and works well then investing £89 in a discontinued piece of technology might in the end be a worthwhile investment.

Though the TouchPad is not perfect, it certainly is now the best sub £100 tablet you can buy and if you can find one, and don’t have an iPad, then you might want to get your wallet out and buy one.

WebOS is Dead!

After all the bad press that the HP TouchPad can I say I am not surprised when HP announces the following:

HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones.

They do say…

HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.

I think that this is basically the death of WebOS. It doesn’t surprise me one little bit.

WebOS was initially developed by Palm before it was acquired by HP. Though the Palm Pre received very positive reviews, the HP TouchPad did not. There was complaints about how slow it was as well as the lack of apps for the device. Probably the big story that killed the TouchPad was the report that Best Buy who had 270,000 TouchPads had in fact only sold 25,000 and wanted HP to take the remainder back…

So though it was cheaper than the iPad, people were still buying the iPad, you couldn’t blame the economy for the poor TouchPad sales.

When I managed a very limited try of the TouchPad in my local Staples though I did find it slightly sluggish, I did quite like the interface and user experience. Certainly better than some of the Android 2.x tablets that were alongside the TouchPad. Probably didn’t help that it wasn’t connected to the internet and had no example apps on it.

However talking to others who used it there thoughts were that it was nice, but it was no iPad. I have heard similar things about Android tablets too, including those that run Honeycomb.

Personally I have had similar experiences with touchscreen phones. The LG Viewty for example was a horrible phone compared to the first iPhone from a user experience perspective, even if it did have a much better camera and other features.

It would appear that HP was losing a lot of money with WebOS and decided that killing, sorry discontinuing the devices they were making was the only option open to them.

It is a pity in one respect, good competitive devices keep Apple on their toes and gets Apple to innovate and improve their devices. Or maybe that’s what Apple does anyway, regardless of what the competition does…

I haven’t yet seen a serious competitor to the iPad at this time, have you?