HP considering the future of its webOS business

8 Nov 2011

The HP TouchPad

HP is weighing up options for its webOS division, after it decided not to spin off its PC business. It is reportedly evaluating whether or not it would be worth selling it off to another company.

Reuters reports a sell-off of the division would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, though not as much as HP originally bought Palm, the company behind webOS.

A number of technology companies, which could include Oracle, have reportedly expressed interest in buying the webOS business, particularly for its patents.

HP initially bought Palm for US$1.2bn in April 2010 and aimed to make its webOS platform key to its mobile efforts.

The company released the HP TouchPad and a number of smartphones in 2011, but it struggled against more established smartphone and tablet competitors.

Just months after releasing the TouchPad, HP’s then-CEO Leo Apotheker announced the company would get rid of its PC and webOS businesses. The HP TouchPad and its range of webOS smartphones were discontinued and a fire sale for these products ensued.

Investors were shocked by this move and HP soon replaced Apotheker with Meg Whitman, who then decided HP would keep its PC business.

HP is currently being advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch on whether it should sell off its webOS division or keep it.