HP Discontinues the TouchPad and Indicates Plans to Sell their PC Division

HP purchased Palm and its key asset – WebOS in 2010 and to fanfare, announced that they would be continuing the development and enhancement of the competitive platform to Apple’s iOS.

To that fanfare, HP released their new tablet the TouchPad which was based on WebOS 3.0 in July 2011.  Now less that two months later, HP is discontinuing the TouchPad and stopping any further development on WebOS.  Essentially they are the first major casualty to the ‘post-PC’ era and have surrendered this market segment to Apple.   To add insult to injury, HP has also indicated that they are selling off their PC division and choosing to rather focus on services and software also announcing plans to acquire Autonomy for $11B US.

Steve Jobs presented iOS 5.0 to the world at the June 2011 Apple Developer Conference.  He kept referring to the post-PC era, one where connected devices will rule and our traditional reliance on bulky, kludgy and inefficient systems would become relegated to the scrap heap in favour of these new devices that provide ease of use, connectivity and convergence.  This appears to be spot on.  I was an early adopter of both the iPhone and iPad.  I found that with my iPad, my use of my laptop became less and less prominent.  I often am updating posts on my blog using my iPad over my Macbook Pro.

So what does this mean to the world?

My opinion.  Technology has become so much more sophisticated and capable but even more appropriately, it has also become seamless and transparent.  Few companies have been able to deliver on this promise.  Let people use technology and not realize that they are using it.  Make it simple and make everything just work.  That is they key that so many companies just don’t seem to get.  The sad fact is that this is not an easy goal to achieve and it takes a concentrated focus on worrying about all the small details and ensuring that everything is designed and developed with the “prize” in mind.

Unfortunately HP didn’t have it.  Google could potentially have it, they just don’t have the ‘orchestration’ to put it together.  IBM doesn’t care about it.  Microsoft wants it but doesn’t know how to go about achieving it and finally Research in Motion frankly just doesn’t get it.

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.