Rumor Mill: HP's webOS tablet will support WiMAX

Hewlett-Packard is preparing to release three separate tablets based on Palm's webOS platform, according to a report on Fox News.

The news outfit, which said it obtained specification sheets for the tablets from an unnamed source, said all three tablets will have 9.7-inch screens, run a new version of webOS (2.5.1), have HDMI-out ports and front- and rear-facing cameras (1.3 megapixels and 3 -megapixels, respectively). The tablets will all carry the "PalmPad" moniker but will differ slightly in their hardware specs. A fourth tablet with an 8.9-inch screen is planned for the fall of next year, the report said.

Importantly, the report said the tablets will connect to Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) mobile WiMAX network via Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), which resells the service under its Sprint 4G brand.

Representatives from HP and Sprint declined to comment.

The report said the webOS tablets will debut at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month. However, HP does not have a press conference or keynote address scheduled for the confab, and is not expected to have amajor presence at the trade show.

Paget Alves, president of Sprint's business markets group, told Forbes earlier this month that Sprint will launch a 4G tablet next year. The carrier plans to expand its tablet lineup beyond the Android-powered Samsung GalaxyTab it currently offers.

HP has previously indicated it will release a webOS tablet early in 2011, though it has declined to provide details beyond that. Analysts have speculated that HP will release the tablet in March.

For more:
- see this Fox News article
- see this PC Magazine article
- see this Engadget post

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