06/03/2010, 08:26 AM
Here is my read. HP wants to build a system of interconnected devices, linking printers, slates, TV's, smart phones, and perhaps even home appliances, and HP envisions webOS to be the operating system driving it all.
No, HP is not going to focus 100% of its attention in competing in the smart phone market. Rather, HP envisions smartphones being an integral component of the interconnected devices. Mark Hurd mentioned "ecosystem" more than once, and I think that is what he means. So, in my estimation, HP's vision is that the future webOS phone will not be just like other smartphones, but it will be different. WebOS phones will be able to seamlessly interface other HP webOS devices like home thermostats, printers, televisions, etc. So I might, in the future, buy a Palm phone so that I can print out files to my home printer, adjust my home thermostat programming, change channels on my tv, backup and load my files to and from my home computer, and maybe even butter my toast in the morning.
I mean.. why would a sane company like HP want to jump into head-to-head competition with established giants like Google and Apple? Certainly not by buying a moribund, has been, outfit like Palm. Palm has the OS and the patents that permits the interlinking "ecosystem", and Palm also has one hardware component for this ecosystem, and that is the most portable of all the hardware - the handheld, pocketable smartphone.