January 13, 2011, 4:52 PM —
A recent CNBC interview with an HP executive is focusing attention on the company's expected webOS device news, including a possible tablet, on Feb. 9 in San Francisco.
In the interview, conducted at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's personal systems group, reiterated that HP will offer at least one webOS tablet. But he hints that there may be an even bigger future for the mobile platform, not only in smartphones, where it originated, but also in "other potentially large-screen devices."
The recorded interview is being reposted online, fueling reports and commentary on mobile Web sites such as BoyGeniusReport.com.
Bradley reiterates that webOS, first revealed as the software platform for Palm's Palm Pre smartphone was the strategic reason why HP acquired Palm last summer, for $1.2 billion. Palm was widely rumored to be actively developing a webOS-based tablet and Bradley, not long after the acquisition, confirmed that HP would offer such a product in early 2011.
"We're totally focused on enabling the table market with webOS," Bradley says. On Feb. 9, HP will make a "broad announcement" about the future of webOS.
Bradley goes on to say that tablets are not currently cannibalizing the notebook PC market. "I think they're very much adjacent [or companion products], rather than cannibalizing," he says.
He says there is currently no data to suggest that younger generations are choosing tablets instead of PCs. And he reiterates the conventional wisdom that tablets are devices mainly for "consuming" media, while PCs are mainly for creating media.