HP has sensationally abandoned its webOS line of products, consigning the HP TouchPad tablet to the dustbin less than a week after it launched in Australia.
In a worldwide statement released this morning, HP says it will "discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones". It cites that the "devices have not met internal milestones and financial targets".
HP initially acquired the webOS software platform through the purchase of struggling Palm for US$1.2 billion in July 2010. The TouchPad tablet was one of the first of a suite of webOS products promised by the company, which included the Pre 3 and Veer smartphones that launched in the US, but never made it to Australia.
The HP TouchPad was first announced back in February, but did not hit the US market until 1 July. It launched last Monday 15 August in Australia, and has therefore been consigned to the history books before it even got a chance to take off.
The TouchPad was originally announced with a price tag of $599 for the 16GB model, and $699 for the 32GB model, but HP cut $100 off both models four days before it launched, suggestion HP weren't entirely confident it would sell.
The HP TouchPad received largely unfavourable reviews upon its launch in the US and Australia. Although most reviews positively commented on its user interface, the TouchPad was widely criticised for its bulky design, lack of third-party apps and sluggish performance.
HP says it "will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward," though it remains to be seen what that entails.