Palm's webOS laid to rest in smartphone graveyard: A timeline

Palm pre

Palm Pre

> Jan. 8, 2009: Palm launches webOS, the company's new operating system. The platform represented the company's response to Android and the iPhone, and was a complete redesign from the aging Palm OS that powered devices including the Palm Treo. Sprint Nextel signs on as the first carrier to support webOS and Palm's first webOS device, the Palm Pre. Click here for a slideshow of the Palm Pre.

> June 4, 2009: Reviewers praise Palm's webOS operating system powering its Pre for its slick use of a card-based multitasking system, a feature significant in its absence from Apple's 2009 iPhone.

> June 8, 2009: The Palm Pre goes on sale nationwide at Sprint. Customers line up to purchase the gadget, and a number of stores sell out of the device. Click here for a slideshow of lines for the Palm Pre.

> Sept. 17, 2009: Palm ships a total of 823,000 smartphones in the quarter, up 134 percent from the 351,000 it shipped in the last quarter, but down 30 percent from the year-ago quarter. The company does not break out specific Pre sales figures, but CFO Doug Jeffries said the "vast majority" of smartphone activity in the quarter related to the Pre.

> Jan. 7, 2010: Palm finally manages to expand distribution beyond Sprint for the Pre. Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility agree to sell the device, along with Palm's Pixi--a smaller version of the Pre with a keyboard. The Verizon Pre is the first device in the United States to offer WiFi hotspot functionality.

> Feb. 26, 2010: Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein acknowledges the Pre launch at Verizon was "below expectations." Rubinstein assures Palm employees that he still believes the company "has what it takes to get the job done."

> April 12, 2010: Troubles continue to mount for Palm, which is struggling financially. Bloomberg reports Palm has put itself up for sale.

> April 28, 2010: That didn't take long! Hewlett-Packard stuns the mobile world with the announcement that it will acquire Palm for $1.2 billion. The move represents a trend among computer makers looking to follow Apple into the growing market for smartphones. "Palm's innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP's mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group, at the time.

> June 18, 2010: Palm promises that, despite HP's acquisition of the company, it will continue to plow ahead with new devices and OS updates.

> August 20, 2010: HP completes its acquisition of Palm, and pledges to release a webOS tablet. The new comes as little surprise; virtually every player in the mobile market promised a tablet in 2010 after witnessing the dramatic success of the introduction of the Apple iPad.

> Oct. 19, 2010: HP announces the Palm Pre 2, to initially be sold through Verizon Wireless, and the next version of webOS, 2.0.

hp touchpad

HP TouchPad

> Feb. 9, 2011: HP announces the Pre3, the Veer and the TouchPad, the first webOS tablet.

> March 15, 2011: HP CEO Leo Apotheker promises to ship 100 million webOS-enabled devices per year.

> June 29, 2011: HP confirms it is negotiating with a number of companies to license its webOS software platform.

> July 12, 2011: HP moves some of its top executives around in an attempt to drive the growth of the webOS platform it acquired from Palm. Specifically, the company moves former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein away from direct control of webOS to work on broader product innovation.

> August 18, 2011: Hewlett-Packard discontinues its webOS devices business, specifically the TouchPad tablet and its webOS phones--a stark reversal for HP nearly 16 months after it bought webOS along with Palm for $1.2 billion.    

Palm's webOS laid to rest in smartphone graveyard: A timeline