) finally put an end to its incessant efforts to breathe life
into the webOS mobile operating system platform. The OS was
inherited from Palm Inc., which it acquired in 2010 for $1.2
billion. Failing to do much to promote the platform, the tech
giant has now decided to sell it to South Korean company LG
Electronics Inc. for an undisclosed amount.
The multinational electronic company, which deals in mobile
communications, home entertainment and appliances, air
conditioning and energy solutions, plans to use the webOS
technology to introduce a connected television (Smart TV)
initially and eventually integrate it in its other home
Per the deal terms, H-P will offload the source code, documents
and websites associated with webOS, as well as the experienced
staff. Apart from this, H-P will transfer to LG other webOS
products (including patent rights acquired from Palm and user
H-P left no stone unturned to make the webOS platform a success.
In a Strategy Summit held in San Francisco in early 2011, H-P's
then chief executive officer (CEO) Leo Apotheker announced the
company's intention to develop the webOS platform into a leading
connectivity platform. The tech chief also announced plans to
launch the TouchPad tablet and new smartphones on webOS.
But the TouchPad tablet and smartphone failed to carve a niche in
a market dominated by
) iPad and iPhone, as well as
) Android-based devices. The devices did not reach internal
milestones or achieve financial targets.
Actually, the webOS platform itself lagged far behind Apple's
iOS and Google's Android operating system platforms. Hence, the
CEO had no option than to reconsider the continuation of its
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Hence, in a major restructuring plan announced in Aug 2011, H-P
decided to abandon the underperforming webOS devices. However,
the tech behemoth stated that it would continue to explore
options to optimize the value of the webOS software going
But in Dec 2011, H-P's present chief, Meg Whitman, previously
) chief, announced plans to make its webOS mobile system
available as open-source software that anyone can freely use and
modify. Previously, the company recorded a pre-tax charge of $1.6
billion to account for the non-profitable business.
H-P appears optimistic about its new tablet (Slate 7), which will
run on the Android OS. A higher-end version based on
) Win 8 operating system is already available. The Android tablet
will hit stores in April with a probable price tag of $169.
While H-P's late entry into the tablet market makes things a
little difficult for the company, we can't help thinking that it
is 'better late than never. We therefore take the announcement
Currently, H-P has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).