Will HP release a Palm webOS touch tablet?

An unconfirmed report claims that HP will release a touch tablet based on the Palm webOS operating system in the third quarter of this year.

The new device is code-named HP Hurricane, according to report’s writer Daryl Deino, who cited as his source “an insider at HP.” The insider apparently didn’t provide any other details.

Palm’s webOS smartphones such as the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi have failed to catch fire with consumers.

Last week, HP said it will acquire Palm in a billion-dollar deal. From the outset, it’s been speculated, but so far unconfirmed, that HP would scrap a planned touch tablet, the HP Slate that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show last January. The Slate was based on Microsoft Windows 7. The speculation was that HP instead would eventually offer a different product based on the well-regarded webOS. Apple took a similar route, using the iPhone OS as the basis for the recently introduced iPad tablet.

But if the report is correct, a Q3 unveiling would be a much faster turnaround than many had thought possible. Some reports, including this one, speculate that HP has dusted off a rumored Palm tablet project, which (again according to rumor) Palm had mothballed.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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