HP to axe 525 jobs in webOS hardware business

HP is to shed 525 jobs from its global webOS hardware business, following its decision to ditch the flag-bearing HP TouchPad tablet.

The tablet prompted a stampede among consumers after HP slashed its price tag to just £89 for the 16GB model and £115 for the 32GB device.

"As communicated on 18 August, HP will discontinue the development of webOS devices within the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, which ends 31 Oct 2011," an HP spokesperson told US website AllThingsD.

The company wouldn't confirm exactly how many jobs were at stake but sources told the website that as many as 525 staff could lose their jobs.

HP staff working on the webOS platform itself, which the company bought from Palm last year in a deal worth $1.2 billion, have been moved to HP's Office of Strategy and Technology while the company ponders the final fate of the OS.

HP reiterated its support to existing webOS customers, saying:

"During this time, we stand by our commitment to our webOS customers and will work to ensure that support and service for customers are not adversely affected. HP is exploring ways to leverage webOS software."

The moves are part of a wider reorganisation at the IT giant, which suggested in July that it may spin off its entire PC-making business and concentrate on corporate software solutions.