Then, last week, HP announced it was withdrawing completely from the hardware business, whether in terms of laptops, desktops, smartphones or tablets.
So now only Windows Phone 7, Microsoftâ€™s vastly improved mobile OS, Android and Appleâ€™s iOS remain to fight over the worldâ€™s smartphone customer base. Nokia has more or less given up on Symbian and will concentrate on producing Windows 7 devices as a hardware manufacturer. HTC will carry on producing cute and serviceable candy-bars for both Android and Windows 7 while Apple will continue to do, presumably, what Apple does. RIM meanwhile have a foot in each corner. They have retreated to their proven customer base with the introduction of a restyle up-to-date version their best BlackBerry, the Bold, while refusing quite to let go of the Playbook or the hybrid Torch, a BlackBerry that thinks itâ€™s a multitouch but isn’t too sure.
I have that new Blackberry Bold 9900, a Playbook, an HTC HD7 Windows phone running â€śMangoâ€ťÂ and an Android HTC Sensation as well as an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4 (both running iOS 5 and the iCloud with Lion OS X 7.2 beta because Iâ€™m a sad nerd who forks out for a developerâ€™s account) – I have run, and always, will I suspect, run as many devices alongside each other as I can for the foreseeable future.
But then, as AOL and Psion and Nokia and Palm will tell you, the future is not very foreseeable at all. And I can see that it never will be. Er â€¦ I think.
I do shed a tear however for the demise of Palm and their WebOS. Any turn of events that reduces biodiversity in the smartphone sector saddens me, and I mourn and memorialise the ingenuity, imagination and innovative genius of Palm and its original founders.