HP Exits Tablet and Smartphone Markets, Possibly Killing Off Their Entire Consumer Business

Hewlett-Packard on Thursday announced that they are discontinuing their tablet computer and smartphone products and may sell or spin off their PC division, essentially leaving the consumer products business.

The announcement means the company will stop producing their HP TouchPad tablets which managed to only move 25,000 units at Best Buy stores, a far cry from the millions of iPad, iPad 2 and various Google Android devices that have been sold to date. The company also says their computers by this time next year could be stamped with another company’s name.

The move, one of the most dramatic in the company’s 72-year history appears to be motivated by a similar move undertaken by IBM after their consumer business began to erode due to heavy competition from Dell, Apple and other desktop and laptop manufacturers. IBM now focuses on their highly successful software and computing services.

HP also took some time on Thursday to announced that they have purchased business software maker Autonomy Corp. for approximately $10 billion, making that deal one of the company’s biggest acquisitions of all time.

Following news of their reorganization the company announced a rise in third-quarter income but also cut their outlook for the rest of the year.

The announcement of WebOS’s demise comes just 16 months after HP spent $1.2 billion to buy Palm, the creators of the WebOS mobile operating system.

I for one will be happy to see the HP line of laptops and desktops come to an end, my wife has had nothing but issues with her HP and Compaq models since purchasing them from HP and their customer support is horrendous, it’s no wonder their consumer oriented business has all but shriveled up and died.