Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Hewlett-Packard Close to Deciding webOS Unit’s Fate

The Verge is reporting that Hewlett-Packard has just called an all-hands meeting, led by CEO Meg Whitman, to discuss the fate of the webOS business.

News of the meeting comes after Reuters reported that, after exploring options for the unit, HP has been leaning toward a sale.

HP had shut down its webOS hardware business on Aug. 18, after sales of the much-ballyhooed TouchPad tablet failed to gain traction at major retailers.

The Reuters story listed several potential buyers, representing more or less the wishful thinking of HP’s advisers at Bank of America: Amazon, Research In Motion, IBM, Oracle and Intel.

I can knock two off that list: Oracle and IBM. I’ve checked with sources at both companies today, and they slapped down the idea of buying webOS from HP. Neither company would have anything useful do with it, other than milk webOS for patent royalties.

Intel might have made a sliver of sense, until it walked away from its own Meego mobile OS in September and instead threw in its lot with Samsung on an Android variant called Tizen.

That leaves Research In Motion, which has problems so numerous that an acquisition seems unlikely; and Amazon, whose flagship tablet, coming later this month, runs a version of Android.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus