27 Comments

Summary:

Palm has been floundering for a while and the hope from enthusiasts is that HP will leverage its vast resources to launch the webOS platform into a new beginning. Those in the right position will find ripe opportunities with the new webOS, and it’s about time.

palm-webos4

The impending merger between HP and Palm have many looking to the future of the platform of webOS. Palm has been floundering for a long time and the hope from enthusiasts is that HP will leverage its vast resources to launch the webOS platform into a new beginning. Those willing to take on some risk will find that opportunities exist with the new webOS, and those opportunities are quite big.

HP’s new venture with webOS crosses two of the hottest segments in mobile devices — smartphones and tablets. The company has indicated it will be leveraging webOS in both of those categories, so the stage is set for an interesting ride. Developers of webOS apps would be wise to get talking to HP as soon as the merger is finalized later this year. One thing is clear — webOS is a very competitive platform for smartphones, and will be the same for the newly emerging tablet space. HP’s vast resources help set the stage for a very profitable run in both spaces, and developers have some outstanding opportunities.

These opportunities cross a number of areas in the mobile space, and I took a deep dive look at those (sub. req’d). There is a decent potential for reward in both of the mobile areas mentioned, and even the big printer business will get into play. The time is ripe for webOS to assume the legacy that good technology can create.

  1. Its too late James in my opinion. The Apps make the platform and its now a 2 sides race. I doubt iPhone users to move to HP and I doubt open Android users to do that either. I can’t see the level of development that we experience with these two also happening with webOS. Their bet is going to fail imho.

    Tal

    Share
    1. So you’re writing off Windows 7 Phone as a non-starter as well? It’s got even fewer apps than WebOS.

      Share
    2. once again another webos hater. wait and see. this os is amazing. they just got to get the hardware right and out of the gate announce what the phone can do. get the basics right. offer functionality and a smartphone smoothness that folks have come to expect. small device that access the web and perform everyday tasks are imo the future. the ipad is great just a little to big. hopefully hp can it out of the park when they make a webos tablet.

      Share
  2. launch tablets first, it’s less competitive than the smartphone market. Price it cheap, put flash and kindle app on it, it will sell.

    Share
  3. WebOS and the Palm Pre/Pixi are on life support. There is no denying that WebOS is a good OS, but the reality is that hardly anybody is developing for it.

    Add on top of that the fact that Palm has terrible quality control and the design of the Palm Pre is seriously flawed.

    The only way out is to start from scratch with a new phone and/or come up with a awesome tablet. Also, will HP allow them to do this? Who knows. Right now it’s a company of ” . . . what could have been”

    Share
    1. The design of the Pre is perfect. I can text without looking at the screen one handed. 90% of the navigation and operation can be done one handed. Try that with your iPhone or EVO. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket. I will agree that the construction and material could be better quality. What hurt the Palm Pre is when it came out it had matched the specs of the previous gen iPhone when it needed to leapfrog the next gen iPhone. If we had the Pre with a 1Ghz Snapdragon proc, better construction the Palm Pre would be flying off the shelves.

      Share
      1. Jobs talks about braindead simple why hasn’t iOS4 gotten Finder/Spotlight functionality on the iPhone, something that webOS executes perfectly in 1.0? If HP doesn’t put webOS on some killer hardware it will be a monumental travesty.

        Share
    2. Calling the Pre’s design and QC “seriously flawed” is a reach in my opinion. After a year of use I find the Pre’s design to be very well thought out. At most I could accuse them of launching a device with average hardware specs for its day and lagging vs the just released EVO, Incredible or iPhone. QC issues exist but no more than any other device I have owned (or intend to own).

      I disagree that HP should start from scratch on a new smartphone. HP, by their own admission, did not fare well trying to design smartphones. Why not leverage HTC hardware RIGHT NOW for webOS? webOS on EVO-esque hardware would be an immediate winner for me. Why not do that RIGHT NOW!

      I can’t argue that the webOS platform lacks the NUMBER of developers and apps that exists for iOS or Android. BUT…I easily found quality apps for everything I need (Twitter, RSS, podcasts, Facebook, weather, banks, cloud storage access, Toodledo, Pandora, e-book readers, Bible readers I could go on but you get the point). In my opinion it’s a public perception problem that access to 200,000 apps somehow makes a platform better.

      If HP can quickly push the webOS smartphones to the next level AND get the tablet going wouldn’t that make developers take another look?

      Share
  4. webOS 1.4 blows away Froyo and iOS4. The problem isn’t the OS it’s the hardware it sits on. If they put webOS on next gen hardware I have no doubt it can compete. webOS is much more hackable than either as well. The development will be there if the hardware is.

    Share
  5. I hate it when people claim that simply because there are so many more apps on the two big platforms, WebOS doesn’t have a chance. The Mac platform has for decades had far fewer applications than the Windows platform…and you can’t argue it isn’t an extremely successful platform today. And WebOS shares an advantage with the iPhone…its hardware and software come from the same vendor. Android is already suffering from severe device and interface fragmentation. Developers aren’t very happy when they get bug reports from people running Android on phones they’ve never heard of or had a chance to test with.

    As long as people are aware of WebOS’s functionality and beautiful design, it has a chance to remain viable. And the fact that a) apps are easy to make and b) apps are easy to port, there’s a good chance that app catalog will continue to grow. Paired with new hardware (new phones and tablets), I’m sure it will do just fine.

    Share
  6. There was a day when Palm stock was $$$$$…and it fell. There was a day when they were all “on top” and they have leveled off or they have fallen. I believe that ANY company with new technology or even merged technology can crawl to the top of the heap. Palm didn’t stay on top forever, and neither will any ONE company. I think it’s great when any company continues to be forward thinking and offer more and better things.

    Share
  7. There are a good number of developers making apps for webOS and are making a decent amount of profit.

    Developers have no problem jumping on the webOS bandwagon and building apps. It’s not that difficult to port Android or iPhone apps onto the webOS platform since they all relatively use similar programming environments. But it will be in the hands of HP/Palm to build far more advanced handsets that run at 2 GHz or more as Android smartphones continue to push the lead in hardware technology. This will dictate whether more developers will make the effort into webOS or not. One thing HP/Palm should learn from Apple and Android is heavy marketing including creative media marketing.

    Share
  8. Jimmy Jenkins Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    You could argue that a few years ago, the Amiga was superior in every technical aspect than the Mac or PC (Windows). However, Amiga was hindered by its parent company Commodore, which practically marketed and pitched it so badly that nobody adopted it. The Pre is probably a great platform but it’s trying to insert itself in a crowded space that HP/Palm is unfit to compete in… because it doesn’t have (1) groundswell/massive cult support + culture (2) no amazing marketing team with vision and clout, (3) carriers willing to throw lots of resources at promoting webOS over their moneymakers.

    Commodore-Amiga only had item #1 and none of #2 or #3 (vendor/commerce/developer support).

    Share
  9. I don’t think so, each day phones are becoming better and better and some of the companies like Apple, Google and Motorola are miles ahead from WebOS. It is very difficult to overcome them and may be not.

    Share
    1. As of yet none of them (Apple,Google,RIM,Nokia) have proper memory management, elegant multitasking, simple universal search/launcher, email aggregation, unobtrusive notification, and extensive hackability as webOS does. All it takes is working capital to drop webOS onto next gen hardware to make HP/Palm a game changer.

      Share
      1. Hold on there PRETHOUGHT. I like my Pre too but my daily “too many cards” error tell me that webOS could use some memory management tweaking too. Especially when I get it when opening one card.

        Share
      2. @CTSLICK

        I rarely get a “too many cards” error usually I’ll get it working on it while transitioning from office building floor to building floor going from R to 1x to EV-DO. If this is a daily occurrence you need to take it in for a replacement. How could you possibly enjoy your Pre if this happens daily. If it happened daily to me I’d think the phone was a steaming pile of sh!! and would have thrown the phone out the Window and moved to another platform.

        Share
      3. A fair question, why haven’t I tossed my Pre aside. Mainly because I find the aggregate experience of using webOS to be very good. It does so many things well. The too many cards thing is an annoyance at most since most of the time webOS can gracefully recover without the need of a soft reset. Certainly better than the memory management on my Sprint Mogul or Treo Pro. Overall all my list of annoyances with webOS is very short, thus I kept the phone.

        Up until now I found no heir apparent in the Sprint line up…the EVO changed that. So I am on the waiting list for an EVO but not without reservations that the experience will not hit the high water mark set by my Pre. We’ll see.

        Share
      4. @CTSLICK

        I was looking at the Evo. Does Android have a Preware equivalent? Preware pretty much eliminates all annoyances I have with the Pre except for the one of being on dated hardware. I get corporate mail and need to be able to circumvent the corporate policy of needing a pin after a minute of inactivity.

        Share
      5. Dunno if they have anything like a Preware, I get the feeling there is plenty of hacking opportunities on Android but perhaps not as easily as with Preware. I use Preware for kernels/overclocking, Jstop and some notification tweaks. Still I’ve never really conquered the too many cards things.
        Wow, a 1 minute timeout limit is brutal, I can live with our 10 minute timeout.

        Share
  10. Please open your technology history textbook to page 1 and follow along:

    Better technology does not sell technology products.
    Better performance does not sell technology products.
    More features do not sell technology products.
    Only BETTER MARKETING sells technology products.

    Share
    1. Better technology does sell. The iPhone is proof of that. Yes Apple hypes their products but there is a lot of substance behind the hype.

      Share

Comments have been disabled for this post