Hewlett-Packard, in seismic shift, bows out of mobile devices

HP TouchPad

The HP TouchPadis not gaining traction

HP is shutting down its mobile hardware business and will stop making the TouchPad tablet and smartphones as the company looks to sharpen its focus on cloud, solutions and software for enterprise, commercial and government markets.

HP said it will discontinue operations for webOS devices during the fourth quarter of this year because the devices have not met internal milestones and financial targets. The news means the end of the line for mobile devices under the Palm brand, which HP acquired last year.

“Consumers are changing their use of the PC,” said Léo Apotheker, president and CEO of HP, Palo Alto, CA, during a conference call to discuss the company’s third quarter results and the news. “The tablet effect is real.


“Sales of the TouchPad are not meeting our expectations,” he said.

Growing competition
HP also said it will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.

Mr. Apotheker pointed to marketplace dynamics, growing competition and an increasingly complex marketplace as contributing to the company’s decision to cease operations for its webOS devices.

He also said that webOS is a respected platform and that HP will explore options for how to derive value from it in the future.

HP recently suggested it might be open to licensing the webOS software to other hardware manufacturers.

WebOS was one of the factors in HP’s decision to acquire Palm for $1.2 billion last year. HP had said it wanted to bring the operating system to a wide variety of mobile hardware devices, including tablets, laptops and desktops.

WebOS currently runs on HP’s Palm smartphones, as well as the TouchPad tablet. 

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