Just 24 hours after Hewlett-Packard announced it would acquire software firm Autonomy for $10 billion and spin off its PC business, the company announced today that it would be killing off WebOS and its TouchPad tablet device. This news is not too surprising to analysts and tech insiders, as usage of WebOS has been very poor compared to Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS. However, with HP planning to spin off its PC business, it was thought that the company would make a stronger push to compete with other tablet and smartphone manufacturers. Now, with that scenario ending, what's left for HP to sell?
For many experts of mobile operating systems, it's actually pretty simple why WebOS failed – no apps. Technology usage, especially in combination with the Internet, is swiftly moving toward application domination, and WebOS couldn't compete. The failure of WebOS will make many tech experts sad, however, as it had a small but loyal fan base of support. Unfortunately, that user base could never escape a distant third place compared with iOS and Android.
Despite a strong marketing campaign for the TouchPad, HP decided to pull the plug on its WebOS-based tablet after only selling 25,000 units of 270,000 shipped to Best Buy. Those dismal sales, along with WebOS having limited marketshare, were a one-two punch of fail that ultimately led to HP killing off both products.
The writing is on the wall for RIM, as even though their BlackBerry smartphones do have apps, they are only proprietary and pale in comparison to the millions of third-party apps available available for the iPhone and Android phones. RIM better get its act together or it will be the next to disappear from the marketplace.
Lastly, with the TouchPad bidding us farewell, I will be saddened that I won't get to see Manny Pacquiao sing anymore. Watch this YouTube clip if you don't know what I'm talking about.