The State of webOS: Patience is a Virtue

So, where are we, a little more than two weeks after HP closed the acquisition of Palm? There have been a number of interesting statements from HP employees, and official affirmations of HP’s commitment to the smartphone market, Palm, and webOS, but nothing definitive. Really, we have no more idea today of when the next webOS device will be released than we had months or even weeks ago.

Ultimately, that makes perfect sense. While the webOS community is naturally anxious for new hardware—especially Sprint Pre owners, whose smartphones now seem particularly outdated in the face of the iPhone 4 and the HTC Evo—both HP and Palm need to take a longer term view of the smartphone market. In fact, the market is just beginning to grow, with an estimated 62 million units sold in the US in 2010 versus a predicted 2.3 billion units to be sold worldwide between 2009 and 2015. It makes sense for HP and Palm to take a few months to get things right when there are literally billions of units at stake, particularly given HP’s global reach.

Predicting what’s going to happen, therefore, is really an exercise in futility. We know that we’ll eventually see new smartphones, tablets, possibly netbooks, and printers, along with other form factors that we’ve not yet thought about. What we don’t know is what they’ll look like, and when they’ll be released. And while we know that there’s a major webOS update coming in or by the Fall, we don’t know exactly what it’s going to include and when it’ll be available for download.

And so, in short, the current state of webOS is that it’s all very much wait and see. We’re not likely to get more concrete information from HP and Palm until they have something concrete to talk about, and that’s not likely to happen until much closer to the next product’s release. In the meantime, patience will be the most important virtue for the webOS community.


  1. turbodog says:

    Perhaps the economy has a lot to do with the delay as well? Aside from the big splashes of the iPhone 4, the EVO and the Droid X, it seems that some companies (Dell) may be holding back on their big smartphone offerings until the shopping season later this year. People obviously don’t have any qualms about splurging on gadgets even in these tough times, but new devices will definitely do better around the holidays. I would expect to see a massive wave of new smartphones and tablets in late 3rd qtr, early 4th. Including a ton of stuff from HPalm. Or… maybe I’m biased because I’m eligible for upgrade on Nov. 1! ;)

    • I’d say that whether it’s the economy or just the timing of Palm’s roadmap, I’d say sometime around the holidays is starting to look more and more likely. So, your update eligibility should be pretty well timed…

  2. For those of you sitting on the sidelines. One thing to consider is that now might be the perfect time to get on board with webOS on whatever device you can get your hands on. Get your data organized, get you applications downloaded (50% off). Start to learn the basics of webOS while you are waiting for the next generation of hardware. One of the “amazing” benefits to be had is that when the new hardware and next version of webOS arrives, all your information and applications make a seamless (and wireless) hop to the new device. Starting now, gives you a head start. Whenever the next amazing phone shows up you can enjoy it the moment it hits the ground. Remember webOS is brand new and has a long way to go. Start now and enjoy the ride.


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