Early last year saw the acquisition of Palm by HP, which changed the market dynamics for HP as well as Palm and also Microsoft. Soon after the acquisition, HP announced its plans for surging forward using the WebOS platform to change the way tablets and smart phones work. At that time, there were rumors that HP would be releasing the PalmPad, carrying the Palm name forward with the new product line. In the later part of 2010, the HP Slate made its rounds in the news. Recent information available shows two tablets, namely the Topaz and the Opal, doing the rounds, without any official announcements from HP yet.
Around the time that HP bought Palm, there was also news that the long-standing Microsoft Windows Phone 7 OS, integrated on the HP product, would be closed. Palm was also in very advanced stages of development of Android devices, and prototypes of the same were also unveiled. This product, probably the HP Slate, was expected to be introduced well in advance of the WebOS product planned for early 2011.
The WebOS tablet PCs are expected in the market sometime in June 2011. Taiwan-based Inventec would probably be kicking off shipments even as early as March. Of course, HP in their standard method would take up the software testing after the so-called introduction of the product well before the actual launch is really announced. So, June or even September could be the right period for the product to be available on the shelves. Recent leaks of information indicate the HP Opal and Topaz tablets sporting 9 inch and 7 inch displays, 1.2 GHz processors, probably a front facing camera, micro USB port and maybe even speakers for audio.
Specifications of the Palm Topaz and Opal tablets seem to be getting more and more a reality with news of the same appearing indicating the Qualcomm dual-core processor, 9.7-inch fingerprint proof Gorilla glass, Adreno GPU, 16 / 32 / 64 GB flash storage, 512MB on-board RAM, Wi-Fi speakers with HP Beats Audio technology, Accelerometer, eCompass, Gyro, Light Sensor, Microphone, 3.5mm audio jack, approximately 13mm thick, etc.
New and different technologies like Touchstone v2, wireless charging, website and picture sharing, audio streaming via Bluetooth and speaker dock, maps and directions, contact sharing, printing, video-streaming, and gaming, will definitely make an impact in the market.
However, indications also point to the fact that HP would definitely revive their WebOS program and would not be outsourcing or sharing this, holding it proprietary for time to come. The WebOS and cloud features that HP plans to introduce, may well change the perspective of smart phones and with the probable integration of the WebOS with Microsoft Server and desktop application and services, the evolution of the mobile computing market is definitely a revolution in the offing.