Buried in a press release saying that it was considering an acquisition of search technology vendor Autonomy (which it later said it would in fact buy) and exploring the possible spinout of its PC business, today Hewlett-Packard confirmed it is discontinuing its WebOS-based TouchPad tablet line and its series of WebOS-based smartphones such as the Pre and Pixi. HP completed its acqusition of WebOS creator Palm just 13 months ago.
The statement read, "HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for WebOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and WebOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of WebOS software going forward."
HP released its TouchPad just last month, but the product lagged behind Apple's iPad and various Android tablets, garnering few sales and raising questions about HP's ability to pull off its WebOS-everywhere strategy, announced with great fanfare this past winter. WebOS's future is very much in doubt, though the company has previously suggested it might consider using WebOS in printers and other devices, a prospect the statement today leaves open as a possibility.
HP's withdrawal from the tablet and smartphone market leaves it to Apple's iPad and iPhone, various devices based on Google's Android OS, and perhaps Research in Motion's struggling BlackBerry platform and the forthcoming reboot of Microsoft's smartphone-only Windows Phone 7.
This story, "HP kills WebOS smartphones, TouchPad tablet," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.