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  1.    #1  
    An HP executive clearly explains the reasons behind shutting down WebOS.

    Click here to listen ...

    http://cdn0.sbnation.com/podcasts/HP_on_webOS.mp3
    Last edited by azerothmetrion; 12/19/2011 at 11:20 PM.
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  2. #2  
    Not too surprising as most corporations these days want immediate ROI without proper marketing or product research. Bugging out after 5 weeks of the TP on shelves shows the pure incompetence of the few people that make the big decisions.
  3. #3  
    And a good indication too perhaps, of how insular and out of touch with 'real' reality the corporate 'Bored-room' mentality and it's self generated notions of 'success', can become!

    Perhaps Meg will now continue to breathe some fresher and more true aspirations into that room.

  4. #4  
    This is from the conference call they had back in August.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Smartfah View Post
    This is from the conference call they had back in August.

    Yes.. that is evident! (Hopefully!).

  6. jtran51's Avatar
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    #6  
    "Sell-through was not what we expected."

    "Poorly received hardware."

    They pretty much knew that they put out inadequate hardware and still put it out at a premium price. Then put it out to pasture.
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  7. #7  
    When a major retailer returns 250,000 units due to lack of sales, it's all over.
    BodenM likes this.
  8. #8  
    Notice how they don't take a blame for this... it's not that they put out lackluster hardware and webOS 3.0 was in an alpha state at best... it's that the ecosystem was in it's infancy, the software was met with strong reviews and the hardware was poorly received. Then they say webOS did not meet their financial goals... Like webOS was a different company who had failed HP. HP made the most half assed attempt to sell webOS and then just quit when they didn't destroy everyone.
  9. #9  
    it's not that they put out lackluster hardware
    Was not the problem.

    and webOS 3.0 was in an alpha state at best...
    Was not the problem.

    it's that the ecosystem was in it's infancy, the software was met with strong reviews and the hardware was poorly received.
    Was not the problem...

    The REAL problem was came later to market with wrong value. Only this.


    Best Regards...
    "If A Man Isn't Willing To Take Some Risk For His Opinions, Either His Opinions Are No Good Or He's No Good!" - Ezra Pound (Poet & Critic)
    (Happy A Lot, As A Good Carioca!)
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by jtran51 View Post
    "Poorly received hardware."
    Multiple rumours/sources have said HP decided the hardware before they had even finished the Palm acquisition. One reported ex-hardware-employee even added that the hardware team knew full well the hardware wouldn't be enough to compete, though it wasn't up to them and HP executive decision was immutable.


    Add to the fact they were charging iPad-level prices when it definitely needed to be significantly lower. Especially given the iPad 2's release and the lengthy wait between the Think Beyond event and the actual release.

    An over-confident/unrealistic HP is what did the most harm.
    Last edited by Jason Robitaille; 12/20/2011 at 07:48 AM.
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  11. #11  
    I think we can argue all day long over every possible point - the software, the hardware, the pricing, the availability of apps, so on so forth. They all have merits. It was almost a "perfect storm" of "complete fail". I think it becomes fairly obvious, though, after what -did- happen, that pricing was most likely the most egregious part of it. A more sane price point, and some better baked software, and there'd be no doubt that HP was serious. As it was, they looked insane.
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  12. moegumby's Avatar
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    #12  
    No folks, it was the hardware, biggest hunk of crap plastic ever released. If HP would have done it right with IPad or Playbook quality hardware, Webos would have been better received.
  13. nhavar's Avatar
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by inertia1 View Post
    The fact is that Apple simply out-innovated and out-executed both Palm and HP with the iPhone and the iPad. Not only was it able to get a market-defining product into consumer hands at a great price with the iPad, but it quickly followed it up with an even more impressive and competition-killing 2nd generation. That's why it was so easy to for HP to kill the TP when they saw the sell-through numbers. They knew the TP didn't have a chance.

    If any company knows whether a product is going to be viable long term then it's HP. It's not as if they don't know what they are doing in technology. Companies like HP will not continue a product line if they can't be first or second in the market.
    That's completely incorrect.
    1) your comparison of Apple and HP is out of context. Apple had already been strong in the market with products, they were already the market leader and already had a strong brand and anticipation from the market for their product well before HP hit with the TouchPad. So this isn't a situation where HP could have ever immediately and directly competed with Apple.
    2) the iPad and iPad2 were released about a year apart, I'm not sure that a year counts as quickly, just about everyone is on a year cycle right now with products. So I'd call it average.
    3) businesses don't sell products solely to be first or second in the market. That logic is similar to the "if we tax them more they won't do business" mentality. Businesses are in business to be profitable. Sometimes businesses are willing to take huge losses up front in order to insure longer term profits later. Sometimes businesses are willing to take losses on one product if it means that a loss for this product results in a gain for another product. (e.g. printers and ink).

    I have a feeling that HP did what every significantly large, overly bureaucratic company does. They tied their employees hands with "executive decision making". The "we need to get to market" and the "we'll patch it later" mentality. There are times when having a presence in the market is beneficial, but that is usually when you have a product that is significantly distinguishable from your competitors. That was not the case with HP. They had a hurry-up mentality on the production side and a wait-and-see mentality on the funding side. Usually when a company meets failure on something they know should be successful they do some failure analysis and figure out how to get from point A to point B. It was clear with how quickly they bailed that no one did that analysis and no one was interested in pointing out the internal failures that caused this to sell so poorly at the outset.
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  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Moegumby View Post
    No folks, it was the hardware, biggest hunk of crap plastic ever released. If HP would have done it right with IPad or Playbook quality hardware, Webos would have been better received.
    This is why Playbook is sitting on the shelf right? B/c of the stellar hardware. Hardware is only the piece of the puzzle.
    darkzone and Vistaus like this.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by azerothmetrion View Post
    Where was the concept of,

    "Think of where Apple will be in the next few years and produce something better" ?

    Without that simple concept, they deserved to slip on that banana.

    I don't even go into the open source part of the forum, there's not a soul that would even think about developing for webos. I've searched high and low. HP effectively killed webos.

    If it takes a year to get it open sourced, then HP and webos will be left behind. I don't know why they think we can wait that long.

    It's a ghost town, but fortunately, the TouchPad still has minimal use.
    More like HP bought a gun to bring to the mobile market gunfight, but decided to shoot themselves in the foot with it.
  16. c000's Avatar
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    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by Moegumby View Post
    No folks, it was the hardware, biggest hunk of crap plastic ever released. If HP would have done it right with IPad or Playbook quality hardware, Webos would have been better received.

    exaggerate much?
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by inertia1 View Post
    So are you saying that HP never had a chance with the TP or that HP should have found markets segments where they didn't have to compete with the iPad? I can't think of too many ways that you can market a tablet, these days, without competing with the iPad. Even the $200 price range requires cutting features, taking a loss on the hardware, and relying some other revenue stream like Amazon does.

    A diversified company like HP has all sorts of businesses that it can invest capital in. Why choose tablets if they aren't going to be able to dominate? This is a pretty common notion.
    I would have to respectfully disagree with you. The problem was trying to compete on an outdated business climate model. The first person with a successful model has a different playing field than the second person in. So Apple come in with the first usable tablet (note that tablets have been around for YEARS before the iPad) and so they are able to make compromises (cut and paste, multitasking, etc) that the next player cannot afford to make.

    Player #2 could have been the Touchpad, but they were too late to market. So Android took that spot. They come out with multiple models, form factors, etc. and while not besting the #1 maker yet, they have carved a niche... even if it is mostly the "anything but Apple", and the e-reader crowd.

    Meanwhile, HP was acting as if there is no other choice out there. Remember Palm was first 'once upon a time" with a usable, affordable, reliable PDA (sorry, Apple Newton) and that position carried them though there was more powerful hardware that later came out to compete. When you are number 3 to market, the 'quick money' is gone and you have to be willing to play the long term game.

    This is why - and so many have commented on it - they were in such a RUSH to get to market. They obviously didn't want to go long term but were hoping for quick profits. Probably why they were so willing to abandon the phone market because it has long since matured to the point where no flash-in-the-pan can swoop in and make quick money.
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  18. #18  
    @inertia1

    But that is their mistake. People will buy smartphones before they buy tablets. People will buy smartphones every two years, but outside of tech nerds who buy new stuff consantly, I suspect tablets will be a longer term purchase. They had a much better chance to break into the smartphone market than the tablet market if they were not willing to a) take a long term strategy or b) dump lots of money into the effort.

    As far as ecosystems, there was (and still is) space to battle, but you need to have the vision to do it. Here was they path they could have taken to instant credibility:

    1) Make a reasonable effort to present a an entertainment device, with the goal of being good enough, as the concept of besting Apple in one release cycle is stupid. They (Apple) OWN the entertainment space. Not even Android can touch them.

    2) imagine of BEFORE they released the TP, they lined up:
    a) a cloud provider (like SugarSync),
    b) a document editing product (like Quick office or Piscel),
    c) a decent VPN client compatible with major VPN systems.
    d) the ability to tether with with ANY phone.

    3) Bundle the keyboard and charging stone (or make it seductively easy to purchase)

    Then in addition to the celebrity ads, show the ad with the executive typing on his keyboard and showing the tight screen shot of his document editor or him remoting into his office network.

    Have him running out to an appointment only then showing him picking up the Touchpad from the charging doc while his secretary continue to edit the document on her office PC. She assures him it will be completed by the time he get to his appointment.

    Show how easy it is to use the TP AND to sync documents. Show a card rocking Pandora and another with a map showing directions to his appointment. Have him print the directions to his HP printer. Show him answering the phone on his TP (or responding to a text message) while his phone is still in his briefcase. They HAD that ability, but executed on it poorly.

    (Box.net, a MUCH delayed doc editor release, a crappy VPN client, where was the print driver, among other faults)

    This is where they blew it. If you aspire to be a world class software as a service company, cloud service provider, if you are the worlds biggest PC maker and printer maker and you could not do what I described above when you had the pieces in place, you deserve to be where you are.

    If they had come in 'ready for business' as described above, they would have sold. I would have bought one for 600 dollars without blinking. And my company would have too. Please tell me why such a modest goal was not within the power of HP to accomplish, if they were more sharply focused?

    C
    Last edited by C-Note; 12/20/2011 at 04:02 PM.
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  19. #19  
    First of all, I enjoy my Touchpad tremendously and I have played on my daughter's iPad and prefer my Touchpad. I don't believe WebOS has yet failed, I do, however believe that both Palm (who was cash strapped and couldn't really make the investment in the long-term that WebOS needed), and HP, (who, quite frankly appears to have put less thought into WebOS, then you all have in this discussion), failed WebOS. There was nearly unanimous accolades for WebOS in what it did, that no other tablet did (e.g. synergy, true multi-tasking, touch to share, etc.). However, HP totally bungled the whole affair multiple times over, which, after you read how Apotheker was hired in the first place, is quite understandable. The guy was clearly over his head and had no basic understanding of how to run a company, as evidenced by his failure at his previous employer. It is clear that both the professionals and the general public do not consider the Touchpad crapware, unlike some of the fan-boys of other OS that like to get their rocks off by dissing WebOS in a WebOS forum. Professionals praised it, the general public rushed to buy it at firesale prices AND at prices about another $100 higher for each model. Since the announcement of open sourcing the Pre 3 prices have gone through the roof on ebay. This would strongly argue against WebOS being crapware.

    Nonetheless, the criticisms of buggy software (much of which has been resolved in updates), poor developer relations, bad price points, marketing issues, limited app catalogue, etc. are legitimate criticisms. Usually hindsight is 20/20, but with HP's decisions over the past year, everyone, including their current CEO, are still scratching their heads. If I were to guess, I'd say that Hurd had a clear vision and plan of execution for Palm/WebOS, but when Apotheker came onboard, he had no interest in it. He then allowed them enough rope to hang themselves with, while he set about to sabotage it.
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  20. #20  
    It wasn't the hardware. The touchpad is a fine piece of hardware - it feels and looks nice, hardware specs are absolutely top-notch, and it works beautifully. Overlooking a couple annoyances (the cracking speaker plastic), it's a fine device - and those little quirks could have easily been ironed out in a slightly updated touchpad design.

    The problem? It was overpriced, plain and simple.

    Hell, I saw my first touchpad in a store and went "Cool, I -LOVE- webOS, webOS on a tablet is going to be awesome, let me just fiddle with this test unit and........ Wait... 599$? BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA."

    At 100-150$ they blew out a million of them in hours. They still sell robustly in the 200-250$ range all day long second-hand and I'd argue HP could have blown them all out for those prices in the same kind of timeframe (it was STILL a blowout deal at 200-250$, or even 150-200$). The 399$-599$ slot is -FULL-, you can't price a product there and expect to do better than "niche" because Apple -owns- that price point. You can't take a subpar product and toss it in that price point and expect it to do anything more than sit and rot. HP either needed a freaking -magical- device, or it needed to undercut the hell out of an ipad in price. What we got was a buggy OS with virtually no app support priced at the same $$$ as a known-to-be superior product. It doesn't take a genius to see that was going to fail miserably.

    They could have put out a webOS touchpad tablet with the ability to run the entire freaking android app catalog with mega-specs (four core, 24 hours battery life, etc) in a beautiful aluminum wonder of design case and not a SINGLE bug and it still would have fallen completely fallen on it's face at 599 freaking dollars.
    New to webOS? Here's my definitive Get Started guide: http://forums.webosnation.com/hp-tou...ted-guide.html

    Want to dual boot Android on your Touchpad? Here's my guide: http://forums.webosnation.com/androi...ted-guide.html
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