HP could ship 100 million WebOS devices a year

We already knew HP intends to slap WebOS on PCs and printers. Now, a strategy announcement by CEO Leo Apotheker has shed light on just how much momentum HP hopes to see the operating system gather.

The money shot comes after several paragraphs of buzzword-laden strategy outlines, with sentences like "Powerful trends like consumerization, cloud computing and connectivity are redefining the way people live, businesses operate and the world works," but it’s definitely an eyebrow-raising one:

HP intends to build webOS into a leading connectivity platform. As the world’s No. 1 maker of PCs and printers, HP has the potential to deliver 100 million webOS-enabled devices a year into the marketplace, and HP plans to use that scale along with leading development tools to build a robust developer community that is eager to access every segment of the market and every corner of the globe.

100 million is nothing to sneeze at. To put things in perspective, Apple shipped 7.33 million iPads and 16.24 million iPhones last quarter, so that’s probably not far from the number of iOS devices shipped every year. And HP’s PC sales may only account for part of the 100-million figure—according to IHS iSuppli, the firm shipped just under 65 million PCs last year.

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    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    This HP+WebOS thing really doesn’t interest me much. I don’t want to be part of an ecosystem of WebOS and the increased management and possible shoehorn gardening it puts us in. We have enough of that with Microsoft. (And Apple, if we ever went that route, I would likely look for another job.)

    If WebOS was its own separate entity, that might interest me. But HP has historically terrible software and UI design and bloat on x86. Hell, just look at their horrendous website.

    I have to ask, have HP’s customers been clamoring for this? How is this “customer driven?” Many of those millions are servers, which I do actually respect HP on. Would this creep its way into HP Proliants? icky.

    • thesmileman
    • 8 years ago

    Having a 95 million printers running WebOS does me no good as a developer. There current printers are so underpowered they can barely run apps that download 10 disney photos and print them. I seriously doubt I am going to waste my time developing apps for devices with such crappy resources.

    • gerryg
    • 8 years ago

    Until automobile and bedside clock makers start offering WebOS printer docks, I’m not buying. Plus, the colorful and distinctively individualistic protective printer carrying cases are going to be expensive for that size. And that’s important – you drop your WebOS printer once and you’ll never be able to print again, even if the screen doesn’t crack. But OTOH, being able to carry around my WebOS printer and generate printouts whenever and wherever I am, in addition to playing Farmville and checking google maps, really enhances my freedom. And I bet they have killer battery life, too. They can probably fit a megawatt worth of battery in those nooks and crannies.

    BTW, 100 million shipped will NOT equal 100 million sold. That remains to be seen. And in seriousness, if they’re relying on dual-boot laptops and desktops to count as shipped/sold WebOS devices, you can easily cut the number in half, if not more, because odds are people won’t dual boot, and odds are people will choose Windows over WebOS. I wouldn’t be surprised if they put in on their servers, just to keep inflating the number.

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      It’s not dual-boot. Devices will either be sold with WebOS only (i.e., smartphones, tablets, printers, netbooks) or with Windows running WebOS as a task. And the latter could easily be more useful than it seems on the surface; you can almost think of it as a collection of productivty tools for Windows – which nicely synchronize your laptop/desktop with your smartphone, tablet, etc. – that are accessed from a special service. It will also provide seamless, indeed, [i<]transparent[/i<] access to HP's new collection of cloud services, which are rumoured to include having all of your music and videos on-line for access from anywhere, as well as on-line content stores (they've cut a huge deal of some sort with Amazon). It also means you can access your 'paid subscription' content from any HP device you own; desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet, smartphone. There certainly are a lot of potential value-adds to be deliverable here. And [i<]that[/i<] potentially opens the door to HP licensing WebOS to other vendors. An interesting possibility, although I suspect they'll prefer to keep it proprietary as a competitive edge.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        So essentially a backdoor to any HP device you own. This can’t possibly fail.

          • dpaus
          • 8 years ago

          What are you babbling about? WebOS is Linux-based, so it’s not like it’s security capabilities are somehow [i<]less[/i<] than Windows.

            • Sahrin
            • 8 years ago

            That’s *exactly* what it’s like. Presenting 100 Million targets per year seems like a great way to expose the completely untested Linux kernel to attackers.

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            Hmmm…. Maybe we should have tested Linux in some Internet-exposed systems, like, I dunno, a few servers?

            • indeego
            • 8 years ago

            It isn’t about testing, or even Linux’s track record, which has its own flaws. As if a web server is the only possible way to exploit an OS. Yikes if you truly think that. There have been many local priviledge esclation ‘sploits on Linux. They are getting more common as the platform gets more popular.

            It is about Vendor control of the OS on the platform. Look at how carrier restricted Android is impacting older phones that don’t get updates. Look at any Apple iPhone/Touch before 3G. They no longer get the security updates their newer phones get. Tens of millions of implementations, and their users have no idea they run unsecure with safari over wifi/3g.

            Do you really expect HP to patch webos on a $60 printer after 2-3 years? The QA/testing isn’t worth it to them, they’ll just say “upgrade your device to the .1 version, now only $50!

    • Farting Bob
    • 8 years ago

    Yes, they [i<]could[/i<] ship 100 million WebOs products, but that is no guarentee they will. Hell i could set up a company tomorrow and claim i could sell 50 billion products a year.

      • stdRaichu
      • 8 years ago

      I hear Intel is going to be shipping billions, possibly trillions, of atoms this year too. What Intel don’t know is that Acorn have already pipped them to the post by selling an unimaginable amount of [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_Electron<]electrons[/url<].

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    sweet. that’s a lot of things!

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