Hewlett-Packard confirmed it will release a webOS-based tablet early next year, adding another forthcoming entrant to the growing tablet market. While HP has indicated in the past that a tablet product based on Palm's operating system was in the works, this is the first time the company has given a timeline for the product, which will challenge Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and other tablets for consumers' affection.
"You'll see us with a Microsoft product out in the near future, and a webOS-based product in early 2011," Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the personal systems group division of HP, said on the company's earnings conference call. Previous reports have referred to the webOS tablet by the code-name "Hurricane."
The announcement comes at a difficult time for HP, which closed its $1.2 billion purchase of Palm in July. The company is searching for a new CEO in the wake former CEO Mark Hurd's ouster. Many former Palm executives have left the company in recent months, though former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein is still on board.
HP's tablet will join a field that is looking increasingly crowded. Both Samsung and LG plan to release Android-based tablets, and Motorola (NYSE:MOT) is reportedly cooking up its own Android tablet.
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