HP hangs up its phones... and tablets

An HP logo rests on a Hewlett-Packard keyboard at a Best Buy store in San Francisco, Calif.

This comes as something of a shock considering the TouchPad just launched a few weeks ago. But maybe it's not all that much of a shock considering the tablet wasn't selling very well at all. On yesterday's show we told you that Best Buy was unhappy with the tablet's sales and wanted to return them.

Then again, it's something of a shocker considering it was just last year that HP purchased Palm for 1.2 billion dollars. At the time, the move was heralded as a chance for HP to get into the mobile business.

This is from the press release announcing that deal:

"Palm's innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP's mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. "And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team. The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing, and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share. Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities, and HP intends to be a leader in this market."

Well, I guess that's not happening. No more TouchPad, no more Pre or Veer phones. HP will keep making printers but it seems likely its computer business will shift away from home computers and more toward business.

Ina Fried from All Things D joins us and says its unclear what happens to the webOS operating system left over from Palm. The company had been talking about doing a lot with it, putting it on every computer and every printer. Now it's dead in the water. Ina says that while webOS was getting some good reviews, particularly in regard to multi-tasking, it wasn't getting a lot of developer support and of course the sales weren't there.

As for what happens now if you own a TouchPad or Pre, it's unclear. Ina says the device obviously won't stop working but you probably aren't going to see anyone building anything for it. As for what you can do if you just bought a Pre last week and got locked into a 2-year contract, the company is not yet commenting.

Also on this program, MABEL is a robot at the University of Michigan who has just learned to run. She may eventually be used for rescues or to give human rescuers super powers. SUPER POWERS!

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