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HP's tablet exit no signal on iPad immunity, say analysts

Hewlett-Packard's abandonment from the book business does not beggarly that Apple's iPad will abide the acknowledged king, analysts said today.

"WebOS was never activity to be an iPad killer," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "It did accept a adventitious at the action market, but it was never activity to claiming the iPad's actual able position in the customer book space."

On Thursday, HP appear that it would stop authoritative tablets and smartphones powered by webOS, the operating arrangement it acquired back it bought Palm aftermost year for $1.2 billion. The move -- aloof weeks afterwards HP started affairs its TouchPad book -- bent best analysts by surprise.

But it's not a arresting that Apple will absorb its accepted position as the arch book seller: HP's webOS was artlessly too baby a amateur -- and acceptable to abide so -- to affect Apple.

"They were the fourth horse in a three-horse race," said Gottheil, apropos to Google and its Android operating system, Apple with iOS and Microsoft with its abutting abundance of Windows, Windows 8.

Chris Connery, an analyst with DisplaySearch, sees the book chase as alike tighter, one amid Google and Apple with Microsoft's adeptness to accompany the action still unproven. "Tablets are a two-OS amplitude appropriate now," said Connery. "HP came to the cessation absolutely bound that there wasn't allowance for three."

Both Gottheil and Connery said that HP's afterlife of webOS tablets is not a arresting that precludes others, abnormally Google, from arduous or alike before Apple.

"There are things Apple aloof won't do," said Gottheil. "It won't actualize as advanced an arrangement of [tablet] anatomy factors as will Android book makers. And it won't attempt on the actual low end, artlessly because of [compromises] it won't make."

Challenging Apple may be difficult, if not impossible, today, back battling tablets comedy in the aforementioned bandage of prices, but that won't aftermost forever, said Gottheil.

"At some point, consumers will breach into camps, with one adage 'I appetite to get article acceptable abundant that's cheap,' and the added adage 'I appetite article that's great.' The first, that will go to Android," Gottheil said.

But it's boxy to adumbrate back that will happen.

Neither analyst saw Android tablets on the aforementioned relatively-short timeline that developed for Android smartphones, and agreed that it will apparently booty best to claiming the iPad than it did to bolt the iPhone.

"I anticipate the ambit ability be a little added difficult for Android [on tablets] than on smartphones," said Connery. "Apple keeps affective the bar."

Connery acclaimed that Google's planned accretion of Motorola Mobility -- a $12.5 billion accord that it appear beforehand this anniversary -- has implications in the Android-versus-iOS book tussle.

"Google and Motorola are accepting calm for some reason, and it's not all about patents," said Connery. "They accept tablets in apperception as well."

Analysts accept about agreed that Google's acquirement was apprenticed by a admiration to beef up its apparent portfolio as it defends Android from acknowledged challenges by both Apple and Microsoft, although some, including German apparent activist Florian Mueller, accept argued to the contrary.

But alike admitting the iPad's ascendancy may not be applicable forever, it won't be accessible to bound it.

"HP's accommodation to not alone airing abroad from webOS, but conceivably all its PC business, shows how boxy it is to comedy in customer electronics," Connery concluded. "We've apparent cast and cast afresh not accept a acceptable customer business. Everyone wants to be in it, but already there, they apprehend how abbreviate the margins are. Everyone except Apple, that is."

And that, added Gottheil, is absolutely what HP's accomplishments do demonstrate.

"In this age of 'consumerization [of IT]' HP is 'de-consumerizing' its business," said Gottheil.

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