The big news keep coming from the mobile industry. After Google purchased Motorola Mobility in a move that surprised many, HP announced yesterday that they will stop their webOS smartphone and tablet business. I was hoping that HP could breath new life into the platform, but sadly they never put in the effort which would have been needed to make webOS more visible to the public. Instead of releasing a new high end smartphone, HP decided to start with the low end model HP Veer which just couldn’t get much attention. And furthermore HP wasn’t able to attract more developers to create apps for webOS, the market literally didn’t change for more than one year. Combine this with very low sales figures, and you can see that HP wasn’t all that commited because the decision to dump webOS devices comes pretty fast. They didn’t give webOS a lot of time to get a marketshare and they didn’t invest anything marketingwise.
WebOS was a strong mobile OS, and even though i was a little disappointed with webOS 2.1 it’s still a shame that we could never see it’s full potential. It seems like there are still some options open like licensing webOS to other manufacturers or using it in other kind of hardware. But it doesn’t matter how we twist it, this marks the end of an innovative OS which deserved more success than it ever archieved.
I will keep an eye on the upcoming HP Pre 3, because even if the ecosystem is all but dead the stock experience of HP webOS is still more than good enough for most casual users. [Edit: Sadly HP made it clear that the HP Pre 3 will not be released at all. So we will never see this smartphone in stores.]