In the wake of slow sales of WebOS devices, HP has announced that it is terminating its line of WebOS devices, which includes the TouchPad Tablet and the smartphones. HP has announced this as it revealed its quarterly revenue of $32.2 Billion, up slightly when compared to last year.

If there’s one thing to take away from this announcement, it is this: competing in the hardware space is extremely tough and even giants like HP sometime have to throw the towel. As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), procurement and purchasing power is as important as the design and technology behind the product.What happens next will be interesting. HP has the option of using its WebOS operating system on things like printers, or possibly laptops, but these will never replace a smartphone and tablet opportunity. Another option is to license the operating system, and compete directly with Android (a pseudo-free OS) and Windows Phone 7.

The task is daunting, and without a healthy app eco-system (or the prospect of having one), it seems like an uphill battle which is fought on a 90 degree slope. The question is: how much did HP lose on its $1.2B acquisition of Palm, and the investments made on the first generation of HP WebOS products?

In the end, it looked interesting on paper, but all it did was to kick the can down the road for Palm’s downfall. [Press Release]

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