HP Exec Indicates webOS Tablet Debuting Feb. 9 - InformationWeek

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1/13/2011
11:58 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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HP Exec Indicates webOS Tablet Debuting Feb. 9

HP has scheduled a webOS-focused event on February 9, where it is expected to debut its first tablet device.

HP sent invitations to the media on January 4, asking them to attend a "webOS event" in San Francisco on February 9. The invitations reads "Think Big, Think Small, Think Beyond." The statements imply that we can expect a tablet, a smartphone, and new software from HP.

Adding fuel to the fire, Todd Bradley, the executive vice president for Hewlett-Packard’s Personal Systems Group, met with CNBC for an interview during CES. Through the course of the conversation, Bradley revealed that Palm's webOS platform is one of the key reasons that HP bought Palm last year, and that webOS will play a central role in its mobile device strategy moving forward.

"So we've announced February 9th we have a broad public set of announcements," he said, "broadly about the future of webOS and the breadth of products that it'll enable."

Palm debuted webOS and the Palm Pre at CES in 2009. When asked why HP/Palm skipped making a big splash at CES this year, Bradley replied, "We think the opportunity is so huge we chose to do it ourselves in San Francisco where people can really focus on the quality of the product, quality of the experience that we created." In other words, HP wants the spotlight all to itself.

HP/Palm have failed to introduce any new products in months. The last new device we saw was the Palm Pre 2, which was a modest refresh of the Pre. If HP/Palm want to keep webOS alive and in the game, they have to get some new products to market quick.

Hopefully what's announced on February 9 will hit the market soon, because it won't have the spotlight for long. Sprint is making a big announcement on February 7, and Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona on February 14.

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