HP dumps webOS: Industry reaction

In the second shock news story of the week, HP has announced that it will be ditching its webOS devices, including the recently launched HP TouchPad and the Pre3.

The news comes hot of the heels of Google's recent announcement about its acquisition of Motorola.

Unlike rivals Android and iOS, HP's webOS has failed to attract significant numbers of developers, despite some nifty features and a strong, yet relatively small fanbase. Cutting through much of the speculation as to why the company has made the decision to scrap its webOS so suddently, comments made as part of HP's Q3 earnings call state that:  "The devices have not met internal milestones and financial targets."

The brand has hinted that it may try to bundle up its OS and sell it on, but no firm plans have yet been confirmed.

HP is also set to aquire Autonomy Corporation, which provides a range of software services. Following the acquisition, HP has said that it will consider selling off its Personal Systems Group (PSG), which includes its personal computers.

What does all this mean for the industry? Pocket-lint asked the people in the who know and here's what they had to say:

Charles Arthur, technology editor of the The Guardian:

"The events of this past week - Google buying Motorola mobility, IDC showing European PC sales falling 20% in the second quarter, and now HP getting out of hardware - have enormous long term implications. HP clearly thinks the world is post-PC, at least in terms of profit. That's very significant."

David Phelan, gadgets editor of Time Out:

"As a self-confessed fan of Palm, I'm deeply disappointed that an amazing company with great heritage has come to the end of its life this way. The TouchPad is a great piece of kit that just needed more apps to work well and every bit of app development will have stopped in its tracks this morning.

"If I was one of the (relatively few) people who had bought the TouchPad, I'd feel pretty betrayed that HP hadn't supported it better and longer - pulling the plug after a matter of weeks is cavalier and brutal. Mind you, people have written Palm's obituary repeatedly over the years, so let's hope there's life after HP - but I'm not holding my breath."

Matt Brian, Apple/mobile editor of The Next Web:

"With news emerging that HP has been testing webOS on the iPad and a number of other Qualcomm-powered devices, it might be the end of HP's webOS devices but the ecosystem may still have a chance of succeeding, especially if a vendor like HTC or Samsung looks into supporting it.

"With all the talk about licensing the OS, I would like to see it open-sourced, to give Android a run for its money and ensure the platform lives on - because let's face it, webOS was the only thing that attracted consumers to HP devices in the first place."

Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell (commenting on Twitter):

"HP - they're calling it a separation but it feels like a divorce."

Rahul Sood, founder of VoodooPC 1991 ( sold to HP in 2006) - now a GM at Microsoft working in the entertainment business (commenting on Twitter):

"I believe webOS will get licensed to HTC - with the help of Beats, anything is possible. Makes way more sense."

A spokesperson from Nokia:

"Nokia does not comment or speculate on other vendor's actions."

That's what the rest of the industry had to say, but what about us?

Stuart Miles, founder and CEO of Pocket-lint commented:

“It’s clear that webOS hasn’t worked for HP and following massive losses and the inability to convince consumers that it’s a viable option, HP has dumped the handsets and the new TouchPad. 

"Combine this with the move to sell off its Personal Systems Group division (the bit that looks after laptops and PCs) and HP is getting out of the consumer space almost altogether - it still has its printers of course. 

"But the move raises plenty of questions. What happens to consumers who’ve just bought the TouchPad, and more interestingly what about the stock still in the channel?”

What's your take on the news? Do you own any webOS products?