Wait, wait…First Microsoft kills the courier, now one of their closest partners shutters a similar device? According to TechCrunch, HP has decided to put an end to the Slate. We’re still waiting for confirmation, but that’s probably a good thing. Initial reactions to the device were lukewarm, and with the iPad already established as the device to beat HP needed to take a good, hard look at things before rushing a less-than-impressive product to market.
That said, there’s every possibility that HP has a solid back-up plan now that they’ve acquired Palm.
Let’s see…They’ve got a hardware foundation that needs a little bit of a price reduction to be competitive. They’ve got a mobile operating system (WebOS) which won’t cost them anything to install on said hardware. By stripping away Windows 7 and replacing the Intel guts with an ARM configuration, HP could easily remix the Slate into a larger version of the Palm Pre…Kind of like what Apple did with the iPad.
If they can beat the iPad on price and offer a slick software experience courtesy WebOS, HP could very well have a hit on their hands.
Obviously, it’s going to be an uphill climb. It’s not like the new Palm handsets and WebOS have been terribly successful thus far, after all. Still, HP now has the ingredients — let’s see if they can find the right mix.
Update: We just heard back from a source at HP who simply says that the company “does not comment on rumors or speculation,” but Sascha at NetbookNews.de got a stronger reaction from his source — who says that the cancellation of the HP Slate is “very improbable, if not even impossible.”