HP CEO Leo Apotheker said he expects to seed the market with 100 million webOS-based PCs, laptops, printers, smartphones and tablets. Android and Apple will have something to say about that.
When new HP CEO Leo Apotheker said
he expected the company's webOS platform on 100 million devices a year, he
effectively declared war on Google's Android and Apple's iOS mobile platforms.
Apotheker made it clear at HP's
Summit March 14 that webOS, the mobile operating system HP gained in its
acquisition of Palm
would be the centerpiece for the company's new push into mobile
"webOS has the potential
to become a very broad and very massive platform," Apotheker said
, adding that he wants to get webOS running on desktop PCs, laptops,
notebooks, tablets, smartphones and printers.
HP's current focus on webOS
smartphones such as the Palm Pre 3, and webOS tablets such as the forthcoming
TouchPad, mean the company plans to munch market share currently enjoyed by
Apple's iPhone and iPad and Google Android smartphones and tablets.
"There is no doubt WebOS
is a direct Android competitor (Apple as well). With it, HP wants to stake out
its own ecosystem and rival the complete environments created by the others (think
WebOS App Store, iTunes equivalent)," industry analyst Jack Gold told eWEEK.
But 100 million devices a year?
That's ambitious, isn't it? Not necessarily. Gold said it should be easy for HP
to reach those numbers if they put webOS on all printers and many of their
Others aren't so sure. Gartner
Research analyst Ken Dulaney said that while HP introduced
the Pre 3 and Veer slider phones last month, it has yet to produce a full touchscreen phone
to compete with the iPhone or popular Android handsets such as the Samung Nexus
"They really needed to
cement their capability to work on a full touchscreen device as a way of
getting into the smartphone business, which is ultimately going to be a lot
larger volume than the tablets," Dulaney said.
This will be tough to do at a
time when Android and iPhone have become the dominant platforms in U.S.
Even perennial smartphone leader Research in Motion is fading behind
its upstart rivals.
Dulaney is more perplexed by
HP's strategy to pair webOS with Microsoft Windows on desktops and laptops, allowing
those computers to interact with HP's smartphones and tablets.