Having been one of the tens of thousands who recently missed out on getting a nice shiny but defunct HP Touchpad in the recent ‘fire sale’, I got thinking. HP’s recent announcement seemed a little odd to say the least. The fact that they are discontinuing hardware production of their tablet computer after just 45 days, but see a future for the critically acclaimed WebOS that ran on it, got me and many other scratching their heads.
Having missed out on the suddenly very desirable Touchpad (it’s amazing what a price drop does!) I was at least marginally consoled by the news that Amazon are about to launch their own low priced tablet at a price point very similar to the heavily discounted HP kit. They are apparently going to achieve this unbelievable price tag by subsidising the cost of the hardware with revenues gained through content sold for use on the device.
Now the perceived wisdom is that such a device would be running Google’s ubiquitous Android operating system, however there is one big flaw in that plan which is Amazon need control of the software delivery mechanism for getting apps on the unit to make their money, something I’m guessing Google aren’t going to entertain. So we need a mobile operating system that Amazon can control that App store on. Hmm I wonder where they might get one of those from!? Enter HP and WebOS’s future!
I might have this totally wrong but to me this makes perfect business sense and with Amazon behind the content of the WebOS platform it would have the best chance of a future which many have said it genuinely deserves. If this does happen it will really shake up Apple’s market dominance and allow Amazon to tap into a market that Apple, due to it’s higher priced units has so far not exploited.
All I can say right now is watch this space!