HP to sell webOS 3.0 TouchPad in April

22 Feb 2011

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HP plans to start selling its web OS 3.0-based TouchPad tablet from April – not the summer as originally planned – with shipments to commence from the end of March. The company expects to sell as many as 5m TouchPads in 2011.

According to Taiwanese-based newspaper DigiTimes, HP is aiming to ship between 45m and 48m notebooks and tablet PCs combined in 2011.

Out of this, the TouchPad is expected to sell between 4m and 5m units in 2011.

The HP TouchPad was originally tipped for a summer release. This led to informed bloggers speculating that HP would need to get the device to market before Apple hits the market with a slimmer and smaller iPad 3 in the autumn if it was to be hopeful of success.

HP’s TouchPad display gamble

The report in DigiTimes points out that HP has adopted a panel that supports 1.024 x 768 with aspect ratio of 4:3 for its tablet PC, different from most of Android’s 16:10 design.

It warns that if HP fails to seriously challenge Apple’s iPad in 2011, the company will struggle to regain its pace in the tablet PC market in the future.

As well as tablet PCs, HP is also expected to start co-ordinating its smartphone products with the webOS platform to make the platform interoperable with the company’s different products.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com