HP's TouchPad tablet will be available to buy this June, according to the company's CEO Leo Apotheker. He was speaking at an event to unveil HP's wider strategy around tablets, webOS and cloud services in the US.
"The TouchPad will come out in June and from that date onwards there will be wave after wave of technology coming out to support the webOS platform," he said, according to PreCentral.
HP's new tablet was unveiled in February just before Mobile World Congress, alongside a pair of new webOS smart phones: the Pre 3 and Veer. These devices are just part of the company's wider webOS plans though, according to Apotheker.
"There will be a beta version for webOS running on a browser on PCs available at the end of the year and you'll see us putting webOS on that technology on PCs... starting from that point onwards and we hope to read 100 million devices a year. We'll put the same technology on our printers, we'll put them on PCs, we'll put them on TouchPads, we'll put them on smart phones, so you'll see this become a very massive, very broad platform."
Apotheker was also asked whether HP will ship any more Windows-powered tablets alongside its webOS models. Perhaps surprisingly -- given its grand plans for webOS -- he said it's possible. "We will ship webOS tabs and Windows tablets. We just need the right version of Windows to do that." Make that Windows 8 in 2012 then.
HP has not indicated whether the June date for TouchPad's debut is just in the US, or whether it'll be crossing the Atlantic to the UK that month too. The tablet has a dual-core processor, a 9.7-inch display, a 1.3-megapixel front camera and supports Adobe's Flash Player. We were impressed when we got hands-on with it earlier in the year.
The device has already sparked an entertaining spat between HP and Research In Motion, over a perceived similarity between the PlayBook's user interface and HP's webOS. "From what we've seen in the market, there are some uncanny similarities," said HP's director of TouchPad marketing Jon Oakes last month.
RIM's Jeff McDowell defended its corner, however, by pointing out that, "When you're trying to optimise user experience that juggles multi-tasking, multiple apps open at once and on a small screen, you're going to get people landing on similar kinds of designs."