Dieter Bohn writing for the Verge:
Even if HP had not decided to give up on webOS hardware and all but abandon webOS software, the chances that any of these products would have seen the market and gained any sort of real success seems awfully small. Both Palm and HP had difficulties shipping on time and competing successfully even in the best of circumstances — and it was clear that HP didn’t think it would be able to take on the challenges that would have lain ahead for webOS.
Dieter did a great job with this piece on webOS software and devices that never saw the light of day. The team that Palm and HP built that worked on webOS obviously saw where things were headed with software interfaces and did a pretty good job at building for that future. It’s just unfortunate that the whole project had to implode the way it did.
Mobile operating systems would be in a very different place if webOS would have had the opportunity to push the competition in new and interesting directions.
I do think it’s interesting how much of an impact Apple has on the industry, though. From Dieter Bohn’s aforelinked piece:
If the documents we obtained detailing HP’s product plans are any indication, the iPad 2 sent the company into a panic. In a document distributed in late March, HP admitted that the iPad 2 had “changed the competitive trajectory” and foresaw rapid responses from Samsung — which had shaved over 2mm from its Galaxy Tab tablet in response to the iPad 2. HP had also gotten pushback from the likes of AT&T, which wasn’t happy with the TouchPad’s “thickness, weight, [and industrial design].”
Between this and Fred Vogelstein’s recent article in The Atlantic entitled “The Day Google Had to ‘Start Over’ on Android,” I’m starting to get the feeling that Apple has a tendency to send other companies into a tizzy whenever they release new products.