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HP to develop webOS tablets, netbooks, phones

HP has the potential to deliver 100 million webOS-enabled devices a year into the marketplace

US manufacturer HP has revealed plans to develop smartphone, netbook and tablet devices based on the recently acquired Palm webOS platform.

The firm agreed to pick up the struggling US-based handset vendor for $1.2bn in cash in April, with the intention of heavily investing in the webOS platform.

Now HP has said that Palm will be responsible for webOS-based software and hardware products, “from a robust smartphone roadmap to future slate PCs and netbooks.”

Jon Rubinstein, former Palm chairman and chief executive officer, will remain as leader of the devices group, reporting to Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the personal systems group at HP.

As a former Apple heavyweight, Rubinstein joined Palm as executive chairman in 2007, and assumed the role of CEO in June 2009. He was instrumental in turning Apple’s fortunes around in the late 90s, and was also the visionary behind the original iPod. Analyst house Informa Telecoms & Media believes that it is important for HP to retain Rubinstein and keep him at the forefront of the development of webOS.

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