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HP plans to fire up to 525 employees from the webOS division, and the layoffs could start as early as this week.
When asked HP confirmed that layoffs were underway, but would not confirm the exact number of employees affected. Without knowing which departments were hardest hit by the layoffs it is hard to tell just how much this will affect the webOS brand as a whole. It does seem like the future of webOS is in jeopardy. It is still not clear if HP will be able to update webOS in the future if it decides to license out the platform for others to use.
Earlier this month there were all kinds of rumors about HP trying to sell webOS with one possible buyer being Samsung. Samsung’s CEO made it fairly clear that Samsung was not going to buy webOS. It is possible that HP was shopping webOS around, and the layoffs are due to having no buyers. Perhaps HP is trying to make the webOS purchase price cheaper by reducing its pay roll.
It seems as though HP wasn’t exactly sure what they had planned for webOS when they discontinued it, and might still not know what’s going to happen. Hopefully for webOS employees this will be the last round of layoffs, and those effected can find a new job quickly.