The Hidden Past of HP’s WebOS

Dieter Bohn at The Verge:

If the documents we obtained detailing HP’s product plans are any indication, the iPad 2 sent the company into a panic. In a document distributed in late March, HP admitted that the iPad 2 had “changed the competitive trajectory” and foresaw rapid responses from Samsung — which had shaved over 2mm from its Galaxy Tab tablet in response to the iPad 2. HP had also gotten pushback from the likes of AT&T, which wasn’t happy with the TouchPad’s “thickness, weight, [and industrial design].”

On the brink of WebOS re-emerging as an interface for an LG TV, I thought this was a fascinating insight into the experimental lab of the WebOS that was to come. HP was scrambling to keep up with Apple and Samsung in industrial design, for sure. However, on the software side they were well on their way to revamping the WebOS UI with what we now identify as the flatter, cleaner modern aesthetic everyone’s using.

Bit of a shame Léo Apotheker blew it all up.