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HP to Re-Enter Smartphone Market With “Phablets” in India (recode.net)
22 points by zwieback 1256 days ago | hide | past | web | 18 comments | favorite

HP has no vision, otherwise, TouchPad and WebOS could have been huge now. They were way ahead of the time on Node.js/Javascript stuff.

Wretched leadership. In my opinion, they should have kept the tablet on the market for a year at least. As I recall, they pulled it after just a couple of months. Then they decided to get out of the desktop computer business which while maybe not the most booming market today, they were still the leaders and could have gone after the high end netbook/touchbook market.

"A couple of months" would have been an improvement. They had it on the market for 48 days. I was working there at the time. What happened with Apothekar is insane and borderline criminal destruction of value.

I think its more accurate to say they had two competing visions. The devices got dumped when the other vision briefly triumphed.

This is rather disappointing.

These smartphones will run Android rather than some version of webOS. I really enjoy my TouchPad still.

I really wish I had bought one of them when it went on a firesale in 2011. Was it $99 or $79? Either way, it was pretty spectacular!

They don't hold up terribly well anymore, but the one I have is still pretty reliable. I ditched WebOS years ago due to the complete lack of support and installed Android. It's running 4.2 I believe. Slow, to be sure, but it works. My SO uses it to watch Netflix.

I still use the HP Touchpad bluetooth keyboard that was sold as an accessory though. Nice keyboard, even if it's missing a lot of keys I wish it had (such as home, end, pgup, pgdn, delete).

If they're going to be anything like their desktops and laptops, the software will be filled with crapware and the hardware will be impossibly difficult to service.

> The devices will run Android 4.2, a.k.a. Jelly Bean.

Sounds like a cash grab to me -- yet another vendor charging for OS upgrades. Very depressing.

I remember reading a couple years ago that the Touchpad (their tablet that went on a firesale after a lackluster launch) was actually one of the most serviceable tablets out there, built very much like a PC, for better or for worse.

Can't speak for the software side though.

WebOS devices were great for software tinkering because they were able to boot a kernel over USB. If you "bricked" the device and it wouldn't boot, you didn't really brick it. You could load the kernel over USB and flash the proper software back to it. Loved those things.

It's a pity how much their standards have sunk. The HP Touchpad was a decent tablet (a little late to the party with iPad 1 specs after the iPad 2 hit the market), but it was serviceable for the time, and I thought the build quality was excellent. It felt like a high-end tablet. The Wireless Bluetooth keyboard tablet, as well, I still find excellent.

Then they release the Slate two years later, and it feels like a cheap POS. The fact that they're aiming these for India with sub-standard display suggests they're trying to tap the budget/third-world market again.

What a waste.

I've been very happy with my Nexus 7. So much so that I wish it had a phone.

I know it's crazy, because it's huge, but if you can get beyond the oddness of it (cf: people usings iPads as cameras,) I think the "Phablets" are a form factor so practical that fashion will have to embrace it.

You actually wish you could hold it up to your ear? Or are you thinking more along the lines of a Bluetooth headset or speakerphone? Using an iPad as a camera for the occasional picture is not too bad, but I can't imagine holding a 7" device to your ear for any call exceeding 30 seconds.

It'd work fine for headphones + mic. Plus in the car it plays through the audio system as well. I just wouldn't want to lug around an iPad Mini or other ~ 7" tablet everywhere I go.

The nice thing about the Nexus 7 is it fits in my coat and jacket pockets easily. Oh, and in my cargo shorts (my non-work summer attire.) The iPad mini doesn't.

So the only time it would feel like lugging is in the summer. And it's not that big a deal carrying it to/from work.

I have big hands, so I actually wish I could hold it up to my ear.

Not crazy. A Bluetooth headset for around the house or out and about, and a hands-free bluetooth system in the car, and you have a perfectly usable phone. Less portable versus better screen - that's the only tradeoff.

If you use Google Voice, there are a couple of apps that let you make VOIP calls using it. Not sure how much longer that will work.

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