As it considers whether to spin off its PC business, HP drops support for all webOS devices

It's over for TouchPad, webOS options to be explored

As it considers whether to spin off its PC business, HP drops support for all webOS devices
In the light of other hardware deals, the $1.2 billion HP dropped on Palm in April 2010 appears to have been small beer, easily written off.

During a widespread restructuring announced as part of its Q3 2011 financials, HP said it's discontinuing operations when it comes to webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones such as the Pre.

No touchstone

The company said the devices had not met internal milestones or financial targets.

"About a year ago, we made a bet on webOS and set clear metrics and milestones. The sell-through of the product was not what we expected," said HP's CEO Leo Apotheker in a call to analysts.

"Our intention was to solidify webOS as a clear number 2 for mobile platforms. It quickly became clear that pricing parity would not improve."

He explained that further investment in webOS devices would have increased the company's predicted loss in Q4, and would have required one or two years additional work without any certainty of return.

AppleInsider has worked out that HP will spend around $100 million dealing with unsold TouchPad stock ($0.05 charge per share, and around 250,000 units)

Rip it up, start again

HP's consumer divisions reported revenues down 15 percent year-on-year, and HP is considering whether to spin out its PC-focused Personal Systems Group as a separate company.

However, the company says it will "explore options to optimise the value of webOS software going forward", although any mention of applying it to printers and other devices as once cited seems to have been dropped.

Instead, the company is positioning itself for a software and cloud-focused future, announcing a $10 billion cash acquisition of enterprise software company Autonomy.

[source: HP (financials)/(reorg)/(analyst call)]
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.


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