HP has officially killed webOS. Offed it with two dinky sentences in a dinky little press release. It’s sad, sure. And now the handful of customers who forked out $500/$600 for a hunk of now-scrap metal called the TouchPad can get a refund from Harvey Norman.
The TouchPad is off shelves, and off Harvey Norman’s Website (though not HP Australia, strangely).
– HP Kills WebOS Phones,Tablets (Including The TouchPad)
– Ten Ways HP Can Get Rid Of Unsold TouchPad Tablets
ARN reports that the roughly 1000 customers who picked up the TouchPad will be contacted in relation to the refund. Harvey Norman’s GM for computers told the site that “We’ll offer customers a full refund virtually with no questions asked in regards to lost packaging and so on. Either that or we’ll swap it or whatever they want to do to remain happy.”
If HP has outright abandoned webOS (as so far seems to be the case), then they’ve effectively rendered TouchPad useless. Developers won’t build apps for it any more than they would for MS-DOS. There will be no firmware updates, no bug fixes. It’s a product trapped in time, exiled to the Phantom Zone. It had more than its share of problems. Now, it’ll have them forever.
When you buy a tablet you’re not just buying the hardware. You’re buying the promise of what that hardware can do for you. You’re buying access to present and future apps, to modifications and improvements and an entire platform’s ecosystem. Even if you pick up one really cheap, that seems to have all gone up in smoke.