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Should HP make a "Nexus"?
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Old 03/09/2012, 05:42 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dignitary View Post
I don't know where you get the number 5,000 from, but before Palm was purchased by HP there were only around 950 employees total according to their financial filings. Granted, there's some variance in there and they gained some as HP shuffled people over to the webOS GBU, but I'm really curious where you verifiably sourced that "5,000" number from. And where do you get that they still even have 250 people in what's left of the webOS GBU?

And let's not forget they ditched 500+ of their hardware engineers last year, and another 270 or so of their software engineers, app developers, developer relations, remaining hardware engineers, and other folks within the organization not even a week and a half ago.

What's left is essentially a skeleton crew tasked with getting Open webOS out the door. Just ask the folks who were shown the door; there's a bunch to ask all over Twitter and they're not hard to find.

Not to split hairs or anything, but it'd be nice to know where you're pulling those numbers from.

As for the Pre 3, what it has going for it on eBay are the number of devices at high prices being sold to webOS fans buying extra devices for replacements or to strip down for parts, or webOS fans (again) upgrading from dead or dying original Pres and Pre 2s. It's not exactly a growing market for webOS when the iOS and Android platforms activate hundreds of thousands of devices every single day...and you might see a new webOS user with a Pre 3 post in the Pre 3 forum once a week if you're lucky. People need to stop glorifying the device just because it's the last one HP (officially unsupported, unofficially released) came out with.

And, finally, aren't we forgetting that HP themselves have repeatedly pushed back--actually dismissing--the very idea of a new smartphone? Every time a potential webOS device is mentioned, it's a new tablet...in 2013. Maybe. HP's even non-committal about that.



Without carrier support as a marketing and distribution proxy, you might as well forget about the idea. Using the "carrier-independent" model the Nexus device supposedly had doesn't exist in reality; the carriers still gladly adopted and helped promote it because the new "top of the line" canonical Android device guarantees millions of sales without even having to put any real work into it. There'd never be a CDMA flavor made otherwise.

Furthermore, the "Nexus" distribution model wouldn't work with a webOS device after the repeated burning of bridges and repeated unprofitability to the carriers that webOS-based phones had. Sprint got burned, while AT&T and Verizon have either been forced to deeply discount, liquidate, or hold onto devices at their regular price hoping nobody knew HP no longer supported the hardware and they'd eventually sell out their stock--well beyond their reasonable market shelf life.

So you say you still want to continue with a model that only sells a limited number at first, and independent of carrier distribution. That means those devices are much higher in price per unit for a variety of reasons:

1. No carrier subsidies. Stop. Go look at your carrier's prices on unsubsidized modern smartphones. Now, continue reading.
2. When you commit to buying fewer parts (in thousands of units, not millions) your prices skyrocket per unit
3. When you commit to having fewer devices manufactured, your factory contract prices skyrocket
4. When you commit to having fewer packaging assets made, your package manufacturing prices skyrocket
5. When you commit to having fewer devices shipped, your prices per pallet--or even unit--moderately increase.

A knowledge of how supply chains work helps ground this all in hard, objective reality.

Tack on the price of engineering the device to clear the FCC's stringent radio/RF interference and radiation guidelines (legally required in the U.S.), and...

...now you're talking about a device much closer to $1,000 in real terms than $500. Congratulations, you just isolated your potential market to a few dozen webOS fans with deep pockets and an irrational sense of obligation. And without carrier support, it'll come only in a GSM flavor, to boot. (Sorry, Verizon, Sprint, and CDMA MVNO customers!)

In short, the only real answer here worth even considering is to get an OEM to do all the lifting with a commitment to ordering a typically large number of units, then, if necessary and prudent, have HP throw a ****-ton of money at them to brand it with their name, not unlike what they did with the "HP iPod" in 2004. (Yes, the HP iPod, go look it up. I used to have one.)



Contrived conspiracy theory! Everybody drink!
Geez I am quite amazed at how pessimistic some in the webos community have become, and yes if you are still here on webosnation's forum you are still part of the webos community. Why else would you be reading these posts and contributing to the threads.

I understand the difficulty and some of the logistics you mention about getting a nexus device developed. But my point is, what is the open webos being developed for? I suppose when making a software os the software engineers need to have some basis and reference hardware to see how the os runs. No? How else can hp help promote the os to a potentially interested hardware partner? All manufacturers produce test phones probably more than they actually bring to market. The iPhone 5 is being tested somewhere out there if only in the apple labs. But it's there. A manufacturer like Samsung or even zte, etc will not have to produce new hardware specifically for Webos Hp can pick out one of their existing models and pay them to use as base hardware.

See some of you are focusing on the past failures of webos. The webos as we knew it is dead. There is a new open webos coming out with a main goal by hp to be used by other manufacturers for various devices, hopefully including phones. This open webos needs reference hardware to test out its features. Even if it is A replica Of an existing android or wp7 device This is what I define as a nexus device.

Again it is not meant to be picked up by the carriers. It will not sell millions of units to consumers. It will not bring Hp a profit. It will however allow hp to test out the new open webos and see if it actually works for smartphones and other devices.
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Old 03/09/2012, 06:34 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Again it is not meant to be picked up by the carriers. It will not sell millions of units to consumers. It will not bring Hp a profit. It will however allow hp to test out the new open webos and see if it actually works for smartphones and other devices.
The problem for me is that I'm a critical realist - I'm not really particularly interested in discussing ideas that have no basis in reality based on the information we currently have. The information we currently have says that in no way shape or form is HP interested in turning out any hardware and moreover it simply doesn't have the capacity to do so.

I'm not negative for the sake of being negative, I just don't think it's worth getting worked up about ideas that are based on thin air, they have to grounded by the actual reality of what is happening and what is likely to happen (based on what we know).
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Old 03/09/2012, 06:58 AM   #43 (permalink)
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The problem for me is that I'm a critical realist - I'm not really particularly interested in discussing ideas that have no basis in reality based on the information we currently have. The information we currently have says that in no way shape or form is HP interested in turning out any hardware and moreover it simply doesn't have the capacity to do so.

I'm not negative for the sake of being negative, I just don't think it's worth getting worked up about ideas that are based on thin air, they have to grounded by the actual reality of what is happening and what is likely to happen (based on what we know).
if you are not interested in discussing these IDEAS, which is all they are, not reality or fact, then why are you here discussing this topic at all?

Listen I am a realist too, and sometimes just as pessimistic as some others esp since HP is in charge here and I don't have any faith in them anymore, esp when it comes to webos.

But until hp states that this open webos project is futile, that there is no intention whatsoever to encourage other companies, even itself, to make any hardware, and that the open webos project is dead, there is always room to throw out ideas such as the topic of this thread.

Its good for discussion while we continue to enjoy our current webos hardware or our new shiny androids/iphones/wp7 devices. webOS has a special place in many of our hearts and most want to see some good outcome after the emotional and comical at times ride over the past few yrs
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Old 03/09/2012, 08:08 AM   #44 (permalink)
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The problem for me is that I'm a critical realist - I'm not really particularly interested in discussing ideas that have no basis in reality based on the information we currently have. The information we currently have says that in no way shape or form is HP interested in turning out any hardware and moreover it simply doesn't have the capacity to do so.

I'm not negative for the sake of being negative, I just don't think it's worth getting worked up about ideas that are based on thin air, they have to grounded by the actual reality of what is happening and what is likely to happen (based on what we know).
As I said, HP does not need to put out hardware to market. They could just put out Reference designs and Development Boards. And some must already exist inside their labs, because they are a by-product of the process of developing an operating system and consumer hardware in the first place. If HP makes the specifications of those available, or even puts them out as development kits, it will increase the chances of third party OEM's putting out webOS hardware, and also make it easier for hobbyists to develop for it as well.

There is another possibility though. Some of us (myself included) have said that HP must have at least some kind of third party device hardware strategy in mind, as without that there's no point in releasing open source webOS, other than taking the path that will earn them the least amount of hatred and scorn as they extract themselves from the webOS debacle. It just doesn't make any sense.

However, HP could be thinking that the real value of webOS is as an embedded operating system. Yes, printers. And cable set top boxes, automobile entertainment systems, in-flight entertainment, even appliances. I think Linux is the most popular OS being used for those currently, with the current trend being to move towards using Android. With the general clunkiness Linux (and Android to a lesser extent) is known for, manufacturers no doubt have to spend a lot of time developing a custom UI for such systems. Enter webOS, with a much more intuitive interface right out of the box requiring less customization, and with low cost high performance chips available nowadays, the extra horsepower it takes to run it well becomes less of an issue. This could actually be the area where webOS actually would have the huge advantage over Android that Meg was talking about.

This is a really uncomfortable thought for me to have, but it could explain HP's failure to really say much about hardware over the past few months, and their slashing of hardware jobs yet again. You really don't need much hardware people if you're only doing an OS for embedded systems. Maybe they are looking to focus on that, and just hoping something good happens with a third party OEM getting involved on the consumer side. It does make good business sense, as the embedded systems market is huge, ripe for the picking, and doesn't present the same kind of idiosyncratic challenges involved in achieving success in the consumer market.

Hopefully though, that's not the way Meg is looking at things. Time will tell - it should become clear within just another couple months.
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Old 03/09/2012, 08:10 AM   #45 (permalink)
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@dignitary
Okay I stand corrected on the total number of Palm Employees.
While it might not be 5000, its not 1000 either.
My feeling is its somewhere closer to 2K if you include few of the overseas employees ( I know there are few in Philippines).

I am not sure what I would say for the rest of your post. Let me ask you, what would HP do given the situation they are in. Do you understand corporate strategy ?
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Old 03/09/2012, 08:18 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Geez I am quite amazed at how pessimistic some in the webos community have become, and yes if you are still here on webosnation's forum you are still part of the webos community. Why else would you be reading these posts and contributing to the threads.

I understand the difficulty and some of the logistics you mention about getting a nexus device developed. But my point is, what is the open webos being developed for? I suppose when making a software os the software engineers need to have some basis and reference hardware to see how the os runs. No? How else can hp help promote the os to a potentially interested hardware partner? All manufacturers produce test phones probably more than they actually bring to market. The iPhone 5 is being tested somewhere out there if only in the apple labs. But it's there. A manufacturer like Samsung or even zte, etc will not have to produce new hardware specifically for Webos Hp can pick out one of their existing models and pay them to use as base hardware.

See some of you are focusing on the past failures of webos. The webos as we knew it is dead. There is a new open webos coming out with a main goal by hp to be used by other manufacturers for various devices, hopefully including phones. This open webos needs reference hardware to test out its features. Even if it is A replica Of an existing android or wp7 device This is what I define as a nexus device.

Again it is not meant to be picked up by the carriers. It will not sell millions of units to consumers. It will not bring Hp a profit. It will however allow hp to test out the new open webos and see if it actually works for smartphones and other devices.
I know why , he/she understands logistics, only that but nothing beyond.
Funny thing is the post was good. The OEM thing is what HP needs. The only way to showcase the software is to make an example device.
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Old 03/09/2012, 08:48 AM   #47 (permalink)
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However, HP could be thinking that the real value of webOS is as an embedded operating system. Yes, printers. And cable set top boxes, automobile entertainment systems, in-flight entertainment, even appliances. I think Linux is the most popular OS being used for those currently, with the current trend being to move towards using Android. With the general clunkiness Linux (and Android to a lesser extent) is known for, manufacturers no doubt have to spend a lot of time developing a custom UI for such systems. Enter webOS, with a much more intuitive interface right out of the box requiring less customization, and with low cost high performance chips available nowadays, the extra horsepower it takes to run it well becomes less of an issue. This could actually be the area where webOS actually would have the huge advantage over Android that Meg was talking about.

This is a really uncomfortable thought for me to have, but it could explain HP's failure to really say much about hardware over the past few months, and their slashing of hardware jobs yet again. You really don't need much hardware people if you're only doing an OS for embedded systems. Maybe they are looking to focus on that, and just hoping something good happens with a third party OEM getting involved on the consumer side. It does make good business sense, as the embedded systems market is huge, ripe for the picking, and doesn't present the same kind of idiosyncratic challenges involved in achieving success in the consumer market.

Hopefully though, that's not the way Meg is looking at things. Time will tell - it should become clear within just another couple months.
Very good thought. Totally agree. From the very beginning they had that Printers thing on their mind.

Here is my crazy thought, Facebook or Amazon might be interested in going mobile phone route. More than Amazon I am leaning towards Facebook. There are many compelling reasons why they should go mobile route, but the most important one is "Facebook makes money on ads", unlike Amazon. They need to control every aspect of their ad business or else the other Mobile platforms and carriers wants a piece of it too. Apple entered the game with iAd. Google has Admob. Pretty soon these two will **** heads with Facebook.
So Facebook knows that they are dependent on Android,iOS (and WinMo ??) for making their dough. Its better to have their own mobile OS than work with others. Its a risky game. Needs money and talented engineers. Facebook will have a boatload of money after that IPO. They can think about using a certain elegant multitasking OS :-) which is free or they can implement some of the webOS features. Either way it looks good to me.

I am sure this topic has been discussed many times, in relevance to the thread HP needs to show a Nexus device to facebook too !!!
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Old 03/09/2012, 09:13 AM   #48 (permalink)
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As I said, HP does not need to put out hardware to market. They could just put out Reference designs and Development Boards. And some must already exist inside their labs, because they are a by-product of the process of developing an operating system and consumer hardware in the first place. If HP makes the specifications of those available, or even puts them out as development kits, it will increase the chances of third party OEM's putting out webOS hardware, and also make it easier for hobbyists to develop for it as well.
Not by very much - this isn't 2009, what any OEM who is going to leap onboard with WebOS is going to want to know is - what sits behind the hardware? What does HP have in mind to compete with Google Play and itunes? What marketing dollars are HP willing to put behind the product (Microsoft does this openly with cash transfers to partners, Google hides it a bit more but does the same), what dollars are they willing to put behind securing hero status with carriers. Yes phones are sold off contract but to be successful for an OEM, they need also to be sold on contract in significant numbers as well.

The hardware and the software are a small part of the overall picture.
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Old 03/09/2012, 09:23 AM   #49 (permalink)
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This is just crazy - at best, it added 750,000 people and most of them were garbage collectors (I know because I'm one of them) - this does not mean they will pay full price for a phone with no app market to speak of and using a design that flopped and flopped again in the market.
I have a Pre3, and actually I'm missing what issues this design have. Note that I'm saying it not as a long term webos addicted, but as someone who jumped on the ship around december.

Personally I find the form factor very attractive, different from the tons of identical bricks otherwise available, comfortable to hold and handle.
The weight is reasonable, the build is what you would expect from an high level device, the keyboard is very neat and functional.

I'm not saying it's a perfect device, since imho has 3 big flaws :
1) the camera and camera sw
2) the lack of a microsd card reader ( I would not have pointed this out, if the amount of internal storage was more reasonable... meaning 16GB as a base, 32 as an option.. and this for all the models, EU included )
3) 512mb of ram instead of 1gb or 768mb

Seriously... the people I shown the phone didn't even realize that there was an hidden keyboard...
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Old 03/09/2012, 09:25 AM   #50 (permalink)
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I have a Pre3, and actually I'm missing what issues this design have.
It doesn't sell and the trends are towards slabs - it has nothing to do with personal preference (I actually like the blackberry form factor myself but my needs are irrelevant to the actual market trends).
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Old 03/09/2012, 09:50 AM   #51 (permalink)
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There is another possibility though. Some of us (myself included) have said that HP must have at least some kind of third party device hardware strategy in mind, as without that there's no point in releasing open source webOS, other than taking the path that will earn them the least amount of hatred and scorn as they extract themselves from the webOS debacle. It just doesn't make any sense.
I don't disagree with this at all, unless they are completely delusional to think that "if they build it, they will come". However, none of this will happen until the the OS is completely open sourced, until then we arm chair analysts just get to sit around and bicker about who should do what and who shouldn't do what...
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Old 03/09/2012, 09:51 AM   #52 (permalink)
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And who decided that it doesn't sell ?

It was out just in some countries and very briefly... it never had a real chance to sell. If it didn't sell in that small amount of time, it was due to bad marketing...

I'll accept that kind of reasoning only if the product was handled as any other from competitors, instead as in a suicidal way...

As for slabs, if companies imitate the iphone form factor also to cut prices ( since I bet that this way parts makers can reuse production lines) and the general public has a limited choice, doesn't mean that they crave just for that.
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Old 03/09/2012, 09:55 AM   #53 (permalink)
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... delusional to think that "if they build it, they will come". However, ...
Wrong movie quote :P If I remember right, after he built the baseball field, they really came :P
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Old 03/09/2012, 09:56 AM   #54 (permalink)
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And who decided that it doesn't sell ?
The carriers when they decided that they didn't want it - in the UK, even when it was announced and was scheduled all the major carriers said that they were going to pass. The original Pre had been given hero status by one of the biggest networks (due to palm marketing dollars) and had it's own seperate instore displays - even then it wasn't a great success and the return levels were shocking. It could have been turned around if the Pre 2 and plus has been better devices but they weren't and that killed off all interest. Then HP deepsixed the whole line and at the time poisoned retailers about the idea of WebOS devices by how badly they handled the fallout.

The Pre brand is toxic and even if someone brings back WebOS on new hardware, they are never going to use the Pre name again or make a device that looks like a Pre.
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Old 03/09/2012, 10:07 AM   #55 (permalink)
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Not by very much - this isn't 2009, what any OEM who is going to leap onboard with WebOS is going to want to know is - what sits behind the hardware? What does HP have in mind to compete with Google Play and itunes? What marketing dollars are HP willing to put behind the product (Microsoft does this openly with cash transfers to partners, Google hides it a bit more but does the same), what dollars are they willing to put behind securing hero status with carriers. Yes phones are sold off contract but to be successful for an OEM, they need also to be sold on contract in significant numbers as well.

The hardware and the software are a small part of the overall picture.
To this I'd say 3 things:

1) Google Play and iTunes
This becomes a non-issue if we get Android apps, which is why I'm advocating so much for OpenMobile ACL

2) Marketing Dollars
If HP is serious about webOS on the consumer end, I see no reason to speculate that they wouldn't put up the marketing dollars needed. They did put marketing dollars behind webOS after all, so why wouldn't they also put them behind open webOS? Nothing they have done or said precludes them from doing that, so why assume they wouldn't?

3) Carrier relationship
This is important in the US (and EU I guess?) markets, but is much less of an issue in countries where the markets are less carrier dependent, and a lot of those places use GSM phones where you just buy a SIM card from whichever carrier you want and you're golden. Over 200 countries have providers using GSM, accounting for 80% of the global mobile market.
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Old 03/09/2012, 10:08 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Ah, but that would have been caused by the previous issues with the older models, by what you said... so in a way it's still a marketing problem. The new "owner" should have done a better marketing campaign to have it taken in, and maybe used a different name. i've never used an older model, but surely this one has no major flaws that would cause returns...

Also, you say in the UK. It was launched in few countries... in the rest of the world nobody had access to it, nor officially to older palm models... who would have cared , lets say in Italy, if the original pre was a mess ?
Not everywhere carriers are the main buyers... plenty of countries where the phones are sold without a plan...
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Old 03/09/2012, 11:18 AM   #57 (permalink)
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One part of the puzzle is apps for a webOS phone. For a Nexus-type webOS device to be successful it is going to need more phone apps and more up to date apps than available at present. Fortunately this is something the webos developer community can deal with now that the tools are being released.

Hardware: OEM's like Huawei are hungry to come out with higher end devices. They may be more open to a new OS as well.

Gigaom has an article about how LTE will change the playing field for T-Mobile. A GSM LTE phone could work on both ATT and T-Mobile in the future and could help conserve hardware development costs by only having to produce GSM phones.

Finally as somebody said, we need to think globally, there are markets where carrier control is not so restrictive.
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Old 03/09/2012, 02:03 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Wrong movie quote :P If I remember right, after he built the baseball field, they really came :P
Actually very fitting I thought, if they build a device maybe only ghosts will buy it. :P
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Old 03/09/2012, 04:55 PM   #59 (permalink)
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It doesn't sell and the trends are towards slabs - it has nothing to do with personal preference (I actually like the blackberry form factor myself but my needs are irrelevant to the actual market trends).
lol, i love when someone rewrites history. Leo KILLED WebOS during the week the Pre3 was released and 8 months (when ever he killed it) later u say it didnt sell.


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Old 03/09/2012, 06:25 PM   #60 (permalink)
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well sprint was giving double spiffs on the hero when the pre launched.... Not an economist or anything
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