Multiple webOS Devices Rumored for 2011
The recent news of the upcoming Palm Pre 2 may just be the tip of the iceberg for new WebOS devices in the coming year. A report from the Chinese industry publication CENS.com is claiming that OEM giants Foxconn and Compal have landed contracts with HP to produce a slew of new WebOS devices. Reportedly, a total of 5-6 devices are in the works and all set to hit the market sometime in 2011. Additional details are also being reported by Telecompaper.com.
Both articles are fairly light on details but do indicate that Foxconn will be the primary supplier of four or five devices, with Compal providing the remaining device. Interestingly enough, the CENS article specifically mentions "smartphones" and not tablet-style or netbook-style devices.
Let's do a bit of wild speculation and assume that WebOS is going to power a variety of devices and formfactors next year. One or two of these products is almost certainly the mythical "PalmPad" tablet, perhaps in 7" and 10" screen sizes. Another is likely a candybar-type Pixi smartphone successor, as that device's EOL date has already been revealed to be in March of 2011, at least with Verizon. Yet another could be a flagship large-screen smartphone with a virtual keyboard, much along the lines of an HTC Evo, HD7, or Droid X.
Finally, the last two devices could be a high-end smartphone with a slide-out landscape keyboard, similar to the Motorola Droid or HTC Touch Pro line and possibly even the spiritual successor of the Palm Foleo in some kind of netbook/smartbook device. A solid assortment of a half-dozen devices hitting all spec levels and price points would make for a powerful WebOS lineup. If nothing else, the combined HP/Palm would conclude their first full year together with a bevy of varied new product and in a much stronger position than Palm was easier this year with a mere two devices to showcase WebOS.