It was just last summer when Hewlett-Packard acquired handheld pioneer Palm for $1.2 million and now it has announced its plans to roll out a tablet very soon. This proposed tablet by HP Palm will showcase webOS Operating System and will be the answer to the competition prevailing in tablet market. Besides, HP also plans to roll out webOS in a number of other products in its portfolio, including smartphones.
As far as analysts’ view is concerned, they agree that Palm’s operating system is well-designed, but still you cannot guarantee the success because HP is a late entrant to the tablet market, which is already dominated by Apple’s iPad and Google’s Android. Similarly in the smartphone market, it faces tough competition from Apple, Google, and Research In Motion.
“I feel confident they’ll put out a quality product, but whether they can get a lot of traction this late in the game remains to be seen,” said Morningstar analyst Michael Holt. “But it’s a better strategy than just putting out another Android product.”
As the tablet market is surging high and expected to swell up by 50 million units this year, HP must do something to keep up its position in the race. Talking about the competition, it’s only going to strengthen as we will soon be watching the next generation of iPad, Motorola Xoom, and RIM’s PlayBook within a few weeks.
Coming on the positive aspect, most of the gadget lovers and Wall Street enthusiasts are curious to see how Palm will enhance webOS for tablets and smartphones. This is in fact good as acquiring the Palm’s OS, HP has put itself in the list of select hardware makers having their own computing platform. It will also license the software and take control of its devices, hence providing seamless experience for its users.
“There are a lot of challenges here: how the market sees them, how reviewers see them, and how the company presents the ecosystem,” said Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney. “If they don’t get there, then it’s going to be tough,” he said. “But they’re pretty much starting from scratch.”
But as HP is a much loved and world’s largest technology company, a lot of things are going to be in its favor including a massive global retail network and its ability to spend on Palm. And yes, the successful track record of Jon Rubinstein, the former Palm CEO who now leads HP’s Palm unit.
Talking about the overall developments going on in tablet industry, Dell has also announced a new 10-inch Android tablet that will run on Android 2.2, same operating system that helped Samsung Galaxy to kick off its sales numbers. As Android’s craze is increasing much, AT&T has also joined it considering Android devices as “highly functional, highly capable smartphones that run really well with the AT&T network.”
Finally, when Google’s Android is making so many developments, how can Apple stay behind? It has also announced the next generation of iPad, which is already in production. It is believed that iPad2 will come with built-in camera and faster processor. Overall, there will be several updated features in iPad2 including a lighter and thinner version, more memory, powerful graphics and a front camera. We can expect it to hit the market in coming few months at current price range of iPad.
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