ANALYSIS: No more smartphones or tablets, but WebOS "has value to customers in the future"

Is HP going to take a shot at Android?

While tech leviathan HP recently made a very public U-turn, deciding to keep its PC hardware business after all, the future is less clear for its smartphone and tablet interests.

The firm announced it will pull out of the tablets and smartphone market at the same time as it said it may get rid of the Personal Systems Group (its PC division).

While its changed its mind and decided to keep the PC business firmly under the HP wing, the company remains insistent that it has no intentions to continue producing its Pre smartphones and TouchPad tablet lines.

However WebOS – the operating system that runs the mobile devices – is alive and kicking, and is very much an on going venture for the firm.

Having confirmed it has well and truly abandoned the hardware side, Paul Hunter, head of PSG UK and Ireland said of Web OS:

“It certainly is an asset that we’re continuing to invest in. The people that are developing WebOS software continue to be in place, so we are continuing to invest in it, and it has a significant value. It has value to the people that have bought TouchPads today, and I think it has value to other potential customers in the future.”

Having swept the hardware division away, and making it clear the OS is here to stay, many will surely be asking if HP is looking to license WebOS out to other hardware manufacturers, in the same way Google does with Android.

When asked this very question, Hunter told PCR:

“The corporation is considering what the strategic choices are for that as an asset. I think they’ll be multiple considerations for that.”

The full interview will appear in next month’s PCR.

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