Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) effectively killed webOS, dropping its struggling TouchPad tablet and
Pre smartphones, it unwittingly sparked riotous popularity for its defunct
platform. Selling for as low as $85 USD for the 16 GB
TouchPad and $120 USD for the 32 GB tablet (with coupon codes), the clearance
priced tablets saw the massive surge of interest and appreciation that they
sadly never experienced during their short product life.
With webOS on tablets and smartphones going the way of the dinosaur, attention
has turned to porting Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system to the TouchPad,
which features a dual-core CPU and hearty 1 GB of RAM. Unfortunately,
Google's official tablets source -- Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" -- is closed for now, but HackNMod has offered a $1,500 prize (since bumped to
$2,100) to port parts of other Android operating systems (e.g. Android 2.3
"Gingerbread") to the device.
Now a tablet has popped up on eBay Inc.'s (EBAY) auction site, which claims to be running
Android 2.2.1 "Froyo". The tablet appears to come from a
Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) collaborative project with HP. It
flashes "Qualcomm Innovation Center (Quic)" when loading.
The seller has posted a pair of videos  to YouTube as proof of his claims.
The tablet auction ends in 2 and a half days and is currently sitting pretty at
Whatever fortunate soul who wins the option could do a ROM dump if they were
kind, opening the TouchPad Android to the masses, and potentially snagging the
However, Shahzeb Jiwani may have beat the eventual buyer to the punch.
He somehow obtained an Android TouchPad of his own and has reportedly dumped a ROM to RootzWiki.
There's currently an active thread of people working to finish making the
ROM ready for easy installation by non hardware-hacker sorts.
The good news, is that with this ground work in place, the TouchPad should be
in prime position for porting Android 3.5 "Ice Cream Sandwich", when
Google merges the tablet and smartphone
trees and opens the source later this year.