HP: webOS printer coming, but not anytime soon

HP has given Pocket-lint a bevy of details about upcoming developments for its ePrint range of printers, including the fact that it will bring its newly acquired operating system, Palm webOS, to its printer range.

“We are working to bring webOS to our printers as soon as possible, but I doubt it will be next year [2011]”, Stephan Batteux, portfolio manager Inkjet and Web Services for EMEA at HP, told us during a demo of the company’s new Android power printers. He suggested that such a move is more likely to happen in “2012”.

It's not the first time HP has said that it is toying with the idea of a webOS printer, but is the first time a more concrete timeline has been alluded to.

In May, the company's then CEO, Mark Hurd said it was going to "leverage webOS into a variety of form factors, including slates and Web-connected printers".

“It will give us more access to a wider development community”, confirmed Batteux on the move away from Android to webOS.

Batteux also confirmed that the company is planning to launch a dedicated API for developers in the coming months for its new "app-based" printers, so that developers could easily create new apps.

But those worried about developing apps for an Android system that will quickly be replaced by a webOS one shouldn’t be, Batteux told us that the company was working on a way to make it easier to merge the two together in the future.

The man from HP also confirmed that the company was working with a number of third-parties to create an enterprise version of its new ePrint system, one that will allow large companies to print to any printer on the system via the company’s intranet.

Oh, and the ePrint technology will be also coming to its laser printer range.