updated 12:35 am EDT, Tue August 30, 2011
HP webOS exit leaves suppliers with unused parts
HP's sudden exit from webOS hardware has left its part suppliers with a glut of unused parts, the supply chain may have revealed Tuesday. Along with some for the existing TouchPad, it reportedly left parts to 100,000 of the unreleased TouchPad Go that would have been assembled just weeks later. Component makers were reported by Digitimes to be talking with HP to find a way to clear out the unused hardware.
The PC builder's Taiwan branch has said it would keep a promise with partners, although whether that meant building a small batch of TouchPad Gos and what was left of the regular TouchPad wasn't evident. Inventec, the contractor making the tablets for HP, said its relationship was still the same, in part because it still makes HP's enterprise-level desktop and notebook PCs.
HP has never said how much it would lose from abandoning webOS devices so soon, but it's believed that it might take as much as a $100 million hit from both write-offs as well as selling the TouchPad at $100, well below even the estimated $300 assembly cost. The American tech pioneer under CEO Leo Apotheker has been convinced it couldn't stay profitable with much of its home hardware business and has been trying to move to becoming a services company with little if any equipment of its own.