How Not To Release A Tablet

By  |  Friday, August 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

With all the hubbub surrounding HP’s shocking announcement of the death of of WebOS and its various devices such as the TouchPad, there’s been a whole lot of finger pointing. But the most stunning revelations may have come from TheNextWeb’s Matt Brian.

WebOS was tested on an iPad 2, Brian says. The results? It performed beautifully–more than two times as fast as the TouchPad, and running WebOS through Safari on the iPad 2 produced similar results.

If this is true it means HP’s crappy hardware killed the platform, and not the OS itself.¬†That just floors me.

Why is this? Brian claims that his sources told him that HP had the WebOS team build the TouchPad on 2-year old hardware. Considering we’ve heard rumors and rumors of rumors on HP’s tablet plans for that long, it makes sense. But why after these tests would the company still release a sub-par product?

That’s certainly a question for the ages. Perhaps it was to save face: the company could never seem to follow through with its tablet aspirations. Or perhaps it was to assure investors that it was at least planning to do something with the technology it had acquired through the Palm buyout.

HP’s lack of hardware capabilities hampered the device, says Brian, because the WebOS team then decided to limit functionality.

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball is skeptical of the whole report, and HP’s capability to run WebOS on an iPad. I’d like to remind him that Android has already been running on the iPhone for some time¬†and on the iPad too, thanks to the folks at OpenBoot. Thus running WebOS on the device would probably take some of the same finagling.

Regardless of how HP did it, if the reporting is true it just goes to show you how misguided some of these manufacturers are when attempting to compete in the tablet market. Instead of ensuring what they’re releasing is a solid product, companies are instead rushing out substandard products.

No wonder we’re going to see a glut of tablet deals come Black Friday. The sad thing is some poor sap is going to buy this junk, and have a bad tablet experience which hurts the entire sector in general.

Kind of frustrating, don’t you think?


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Tired_ Says:

    Where is this 'two year old hardware' rumour coming from? It smells like baloney, anyways, since APQ8060 came out in 2011, not 2009.

  2. Ed Morris Says:

    Please note that you cannot install Android on an iPad. The OpeniBoot page states that the following devices are compatible:

    iPod Touch 1st Gen
    iPhone 1st Gen
    iPhone 3G

    OpeniBoot is working towards unlocking and modifying the A4's boot loader, but so far it hasn't happened yet. My guess is that HP/Palm engineers loaded webOS on to an iPad as an XCode application and launched it normally via Springboard.