Rumor Mill: HP's webOS tablet destined for LTE networks

Hewlett-Packard's webOS tablets will be released in the second half of this year and will land on both Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) LTE networks, according to a report on the blog Engadget.   

According to the blog, HP will release two webOS tablets in the second half, a 9-inch tablet code-named "Topaz" and a 7-inch tablet code-named "Opal." According to marketing information cited in the report, Opal will launch in September in three iterations: a WiFi-only version, an LTE version for Verizon and an HSPA+ version for AT&T. A version for AT&T's forthcoming LTE network will launch in July 2012, the blog said.

An HP spokesman declined to comment. However, shortly after Engadget's post, HP sent out an email to reporters: "Think you saw the latest on Engadget? Think again. Please join HP on Feb. 9 for an exciting webOS announcement." HP had previously scheduled a webOS event Feb. 9.

If Engadget's launch timeline is accurate, HP's webOS tablets will hit the market months after tablets running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 3.0 software, as well as Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) PlayBook and a possible iPad sequel from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are launched. 

In an interview with CNBC last week, Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group, strongly hinted that the company will unveil at least one tablet next month, and that tablets are one piece of the puzzle. "We think of this broadly as, the tablet is one piece of that ecosystem, one piece of that connected experience that we're going to create," he said. Bradley added that the Feb. 9 announcement will showcase "the future of webOS and the breadth of products it will effect, that it will enable."

For more:
- see this Engadget post
- see this Technologizer post

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