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Future of webOS in Question as HP Kills Off TouchPad, Smartphones

With an announcement released just moments ago, the smartphone wars have seen their latest casualty. HP is discontinuing all operations related to webOS hardware after only a year of ownership and despite recent new devices. This includes the platform’s first tablet — not that the HP TouchPad was anything to write home about. In fact, its poor sales probably factored heavily into the computer manufacturing giant’s decision to put their pet project to bed. The company’s final position with webOS remains open-ended, stating, “HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.” Full statement follows.

August 18, 2011 03:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time
HP Confirms Discussions with Autonomy Corporation plc Regarding Possible Business Combination; Makes Other Announcements

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HP (NYSE: HPQ) today commented on the recent announcement by Autonomy Corporation plc (LSE: AU.L). HP confirms that it is in discussions with Autonomy regarding a possible offer for the company.

HP also reported that it plans to announce 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.

In addition, HP reported 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.

HP today announced preliminary results for the third fiscal quarter 2011, with revenue of $31.2 billion compared with $30.7 billion one year ago.

In the third quarter, preliminary GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) was $0.93 and non-GAAP diluted EPS was $1.10, compared with third quarter fiscal 2010 GAAP diluted EPS of $0.75 and non-GAAP diluted EPS of $1.08. Non-GAAP diluted EPS estimates exclude after-tax costs related primarily to the amortization of purchased intangible assets of approximately $0.17 per share and $0.33 per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2010, respectively.

For the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, HP estimates revenue of approximately $32.1 billion to $32.5 billion, GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $0.44 to $0.55, and non-GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $1.12 to $1.16. Non-GAAP diluted EPS guidance excludes after-tax costs of approximately $0.61 to $0.68 per share, related primarily to restructuring and shutdown costs associated with webOS devices, the amortization and impairment of purchased intangibles, restructuring charges and acquisition-related charges.

HP estimates full-year FY11 revenue will be approximately $127.2 billion to $127.6 billion, down from its previous estimate of $129 billion to $130 billion. FY11 GAAP diluted EPS is expected to be in the range of $3.59 to $3.70, down from its previous estimate of at least $4.27, and FY11 non-GAAP diluted EPS is expected to be in the range of $4.82 to $4.86, down from its previous estimate of at least $5.00. FY11 non-GAAP diluted EPS estimates exclude after-tax costs of approximately $1.16 to 1.23 per share, related primarily to restructuring and shutdown costs associated with webOS devices, the amortization and impairment of purchased intangibles, restructuring charges and acquisition-related charges.

HP will host a conference call with the financial community today at 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET to discuss these announcements well as HP’s third quarter 2011 financial results. The call is accessible via an audio webcast at www.hp.com/investor/2011q3webcast.




  • chris125

    Well it was only a matter of time. I mean look at the delays they had in getting new products out and the low sales. Figured this would happen since the demand for webos is so low and doesn’t sell that well.

  • RedPandaAlex

    I like how they buried such huge news in the “makes other announcements” part of their press release headline.

    • RedPandaAlex

      Also, I was interviewing for a job at Autonomy a couple months ago. Not sure if I feel better or worse about not getting it now that they’re being bought by HP.

      • RedPandaAlex

        Actually, seeing how effectively HP managed to destroy Palm after acquiring them, I’m probably better off where I am.

  • endone

    Google should buy their patents as well

  • SuperMuna

    everyone saw this coming. maybe they’ll license it to other OEM.

  • TheJunkie

    They ran a serious amount of commercials on TV. I was always wondering how many poor souls would buy it thinking it’s an android or ipad…..just find out the product and platform dies soon after their purchase. I guess I don’t have to wonder about the second part now that it’s certified.

    • david brand

      the commercials were horrible, the most recognized person in those were russell brand. if they wanted celebrities they shoulda aimed higher, besides who was that generic brunnette singing “let me entertain you”….it coulda been a faceless blob and i wouldnt have known the difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.gilboy Richard Gilboy

    Who’s HP next of kin?

    • Alexander Ramirez

      I don’t know, Kin1 or Kin2?

  • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

    Nooooooooooo! I actually loved WebOS (if it was incorporated into Android). Google! Get on that!

    • http://www.facebook.com/richard.gilboy Richard Gilboy

      That is what I’m saying man. Buy the OS for patents and implement some of it’s features.

      • ReverseRoxas

        WebOS works beautifully with the right hardware and some Software tweaks, which is why Google should snag some of their patents for their software, it would make Android all the more a seamless experience (:

      • PapaDroid

        One could only hope.

  • http://twitter.com/jaileer Tim

    The saddest part is that is really is a fantastic OS. They saddled it with horrible hardware and could never get enough developers to program apps. Apps drive the smartphone space. The multitasking on WebOS is/was a beautiful thing and we should all be so lucky to see something of the kind come to Android.

    • Alvin Brinson

      The hardware was always the issue. Though, I have to say, WebOS is “quirky” and not easy to figure out when you’ve never used a device before. I recently helped a friend migrate to a PRE from a Centro, and without webos-internals.org, the phone was next to useless when it came to doing what you wanted it to. Not enough memory, and too many things you couldn’t customize.

    • Justin King

      It looked pretty, but interacting with it was a wrestling match. Trying to scroll down on a webpage would always accidentally click the web add and load a new page …. it needed a lot of polish.

  • Jeremy Beasley

    Google should definitely buy this and incorporate some features into Android!

  • BoHarris

    Well can’t say I’m surprised. It’s as if hp was trying to run the company into the ground. I mean who honestly came up with the bright idea of the 2.6″display size of the veer. And they purposely targeted this phone to the “everyday consumer”. Yeah cause that’s what the everyday consumer wants is a miniscule phone with a unusable keyboard. And the person making that decision gets paid millions! They deserve to go under!

    • jteply13

      I’ll tell you that the bright idea came from Jon Rubi. He is a F*ckin joke!! If HP just thought about the veer for a minute, they might have realized that most normal size hands would NOT be able to type on it!! They needed to put out the Pre 3 first. A bunch of Jack Asses

  • http://mitchs.co Mitch Samuels

    This was what I was going to switch to if Apple/Microsoft somehow killed of Android. This was/is way better than iOS and WP7.

    • Justin King

      W7 on a tablet is afterthought filler …. Windows 8 will be MS’s first real attempt to try to take on the tablet market… and MS is usally pretty smart about stealing the good ideas and innovating a few of their own. Ill be watching what they pull off, but a tablet already compatible with your entire software library could be huge (and last i checked that’s in the works, a new touch specific api and a compatibility layer for all the existing windows software).

  • Maximillion82

    I agree those patents would be worth a lot to the android platform. Hope Google snags them before Apple or Microsoft gets their greasy hands on them.

    • Top Gear

      Apple doesn’t waste its time buying patents. They innovate and become the original patent owners. You’re confusing Apple with the hypocritical Google.

      And don’t even try to say that Google isn’t hypocritical, after their recent antics over Nortel.

      • david brand

        name one thing on an iphone or ipad that was “innovated” that a palm didnt have years before an iphone ? apps were on phones long before then. so it wasnt apps, palm had touch screens, so it wasnt that…in fact samsung makes iphone screens. every part of an iphone was made by someone else in the smartphone arena…the only thing apple made was the shiny exterior, the guts were all made and “innovated” by others….if you want to call chrome and polish innovating, by all means go right ahead….google innovates in its sleep….dont be jealous..

        • Top Gear

          If anything you said was true, then Apple wouldn’t have the patents to sue Samsung, and co. I don’t have to prove anything. They have the patents. And they didn’t buy them.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7FWHSMUBQUQ4LOXVEYIO6XQ3YI danilo

        troll

        • Top Gear

          Yes you are.

      • DroidRiffic

        You’re funny.

        • Top Gear

          Thank you.

  • WickedToby741

    I’m wondering how Samsung feels about this. Just yesterday they were talking about how valuable it was becoming to develop your own software as hardware makers become less important. Now it sounds as though WebOS would be for sale at the right price. Heck, HP is looking to shed it its consumer business entirely (PC’s, printers, phones, tablets), would Samsung want it all? Could they even afford it all? I don’t see WebOS as being dead for long because I imagine a few people are lining up right now as we speak with offers for it. Its just too valuable to let die and with the Google/Motorola deal, manufacturers are more interested in their own platform (I’m ignoring Bada).

  • wakkoman

    They should make it open source. True open source. Not the pretend stuff Google does with Android.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7FWHSMUBQUQ4LOXVEYIO6XQ3YI danilo

      as far as i know Android is open sourced, their apps arent…

      • wakkoman

        No.. true open source would mean the development is also open. Anyone would be able to contribute to the project and there would be a roadmap.

        Google’s pretend open source is this: develop secretly, and once they release it, say “here’s the source code”

        or in the case of honeycomb:

        develop secretly, release it, and say “well we aren’t going to release the source code on this even though it goes against what we claim we do. this is for the betterment of android. trust us you sheepish fanboys. trust us.”

  • UbuntuWillRule

    Hp…you are soooooooo stupid!!!! WebOs is a good operating system…keep up the work….Linux will rule in the next years….

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