Summary:

It’s going to be a big hill to climb, but HP’s put on its walking boots and is getting on with it. Today, the company formally started to ac…

HP TouchPad

It’s going to be a big hill to climb, but HP’s put on its walking boots and is getting on with it. Today, the company formally started to accept apps for its forthcoming TouchPad, and its relatively late arrival to the tablet scene means that it’s gotten a jump start in offering a key feature from the very beginning: in-app purchasing.

In a post on HP’s developers’ blog, marketing manager Sean Lindo writes that from today, developers using the WebOS 3.0 SDK will be able to submit apps to use with the TouchPad. Legacy apps that have already been submitted to WebOS, meanwhile, will be automatically upgraded.

The in-app purchasing feature, meanwhile, looks like it is only usable on TouchPads (as it is the only 3.0 device at the moment).

HP says it is rolling in-app purchasing out in stages: today, registered developers can start creating items; the next release will include documentation on adding in-app purchase code to your apps; Lindon writes that in a couple of weeks, HP will start allowing developers to formally submit in-app items for review.

That also gives us a better idea of how soon we we might actually see the TouchPad itself: perhaps as soon as July if HP sticks to the above schedule.

So far, so good, but will this do the trick for the TouchPad? There are no details on the revenue share specifics, and whether developers will have the option to use purchasing mechanisms other than those provided by HP (NYSE: HPQ). (Update: Richard Kerris confirmed to mocoNews that HP will have a now-standard 30/70 split with developers on all app transactions.)

Terms that compare favorably with those from Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and other competitors, however, could prove a useful way to get developers submitting.

So, too, could be a wider field for distribution: today’s news comes a day after HP’s CEO, Leo Apotheker, told the audience at the AllThingsDigital conference that HP was considering licensing out the WebOS platorm to third-party OEMs.

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