With the news of HP’s decision to shelve the production of the TouchPad all over the Internet, another shocking revelation has surfaced. This one is more of a shocker to HP than anyone else.
In an embarrassing and perhaps even distressing moment, engineers at Hewlett-Packard discovered to their dismay that their WebOS runs many times faster on Apple’s iPad 2 than on the TouchPad itself. This news was told to The Next Web by their source.
HP engineers were obviously devastated by this discovery.
The hardware reportedly stopped the team from innovating beyond certain points because it was slow and imposed constraints, which was highlighted when webOS was loaded on to Apple’s iPad device and found to run the platform significantly faster than the device for which it was originally developed.
In fact, the report tells that the WebOS team wanted the TouchPad and Pre smartphones gone even before they were released. Makes us think whether WebOS and TouchPad were destined to fail.
The method used by HP engineers to run WebOS on the iPad 2 was to run it as an App.
With a focus on web technologies, webOS could be deployed in the iPad’s Mobile Safari browser as a web-app; this produced similar results, with it running many times faster in the browser than it did on the TouchPad.
However, it should be noted that the TouchPad runs on a Qualcomm chipset while the iPad 2 houses a dual core chip.
The report also tells about a 7 inch TouchPad model which was supposed to come out soon, but will now never see day light. Regarding licensing of WebOS, it seems unlikely as well.
Because webOS is limited to working on the Qualcomm chipset, potential hardware partners would need to have a special version of webOS written for their hardware. This makes it hard to determine a likely licensee, but we know that HP has already been working on porting webOS to other architectures, including Apple’s A5 SoC.
The news of HP shelving the TouchPad and WebOS was not known throughout the company and most got to know about it only when the news was made public.
It is ironic that the once HP had declined original Apple I design by Wozniak and now Apple iPad has indirectly caused a death blow to an HP product.