Rubinstein: HP Chose Palm’s webOS Over Android

HP chose Palm’s webOS over Android when looking for an OS for future devices, according to former Palm CEO and current HP gadget wrangler Jon Rubinstein. Mr. Rubinstein told The Financial Times of London that his new company is on track for delivering a webOS tablet in early 2011, and that the company abandoned plans to release an Android-based smartphone.

HP acquired Palm earlier in 2010 for US$1.2 billion, including webOS, the operating system developed by Palm for smartphones. “HP voted with its pocketbook,” Mr Rubinstein said. “It’s all about focus.”

HP still intends to release a Windows based tablet, in addition to its webOS tablet, but the company has no plans to release an Android phone or tablet, or a Windows 7 Mobile device.

Before his stint at Palm, Mr. Rubinstein was a vice president at Apple in charge of that company’s iPod product line. He left Apple to join Palm, where he was Chairman and CEO of the company. Palm garnered headlines for its webOS smartphones, but the devices never took off in the marketplace, and Mr. Rubinstein instead looked for a buyer and found HP.

HP is not, however, trying to emulate Apple.

Jon Rubinstein

Jon Rubinstein Demonstrates Walking With a Palm Phone