When Palm Pre Smartphone marked the beginning of webOS operating system in June 2009, it was seen a futuristic device. When Apple’s iPhone and Google’s android were ruling the market, Palm’s take on mobile computing scene was full of challenges. Now when on Aug 18, 2011 Hp officially closed the production of complete line of webOS devices, it is evident that mobile scene is a fickle one.
WebOS was committed to offer Smartphone users an entire new experience with the simplicity of iOS- large icons and always there dock along with integrated web experience consisting of many social networking and media features. Some features of palm Pre made it better than iPhone like the well-designed default applications and support of flash. But there were things which went wrong with webOS.
Palm Pre was first introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2009 and this was a debut device for Palm’s new webOS which was in a true sense competitor of iOS and Android. It was though seen as a dark horse but Palm’s reputation and industrial impression make the mobile OS gain a foothold.
In April 2010, HP scooped up Palm and webOS for $1.2 billion. With an enthusiastic approach, HP announced Pre 2 in Oct 2010 which used webOS 2.0. Pre 2 optimized multitasking and simplified user’s web presence by integrating features like Facebook, LinkedIn and yahoo. HP announced that webOS could not keep up the promise of over-the-air update was in works for older webOS devices. Perhaps this was the reason including several negative feedbacks for demise of the platform.
With the launch of TouchPad on July 1, early reviews were mixed but optimistic and it seemed as if the slate will make its everlasting position in the iPad-heavy market. It was already difficult for Android tablets to keep up with Apple’s device and those looking for an alternative had the best one as HP’s tablet. It was discovered that the not only the customers were not showing any interest in TouchPads but the stores were also complaining that the stacks remained untouched.
Factors like lack of directionality, poor hardware quality and abandonment of early webOS operators were responsible to its end. The platform may have its future if it goes into the hands of a new manufacturer. When powerful Android and Apple’s smartphones and tablets are ruling in the market, it seems difficult for any manufacturer to compete them.