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HP launching an investigation into TouchPads shipped with Android

You may remember during the HP TouchPad sale frenzy a few TouchPad devices turned up online running Android out of the box – to the bemusement of the owner as well as others. Well, the latest news suggests that HP are to conduct an internal investigation to find out how exactly a few of these TouchPads  (which should’ve been shipped with the company’s WebOS) managed to get into the retail channel running Android 2.2

At the same time, various users who have purchased a TouchPad running WebOS, are desperate to port Android across to the tablet device, as understandably, users are concerned about the support and development HP will dedicate to WebOS in the future.

The reports that HP were to conduct an investigation surfaced when developers who are working on the Android port reached out to HP to ask for the source code that has been used on the TouchPads that have been shipped with Android pre-installed. In an email reply to the request, HP said that it never authorised the distribution of any version of Android on the TouchPad and even after reviewing their manufacturing process, HP believes no Android TouchPads were shipped by them, not even by mistake.

The email signed by Phil Robb who is director of HP’s open-source program has said “We presently believe that some person or persons unknown may have facilitated the delivery of these Android-based units strictly against the policy and authorization of HP,”. He also asks developers for any information they may have that can be used to allow HP to track down who provided the Android TouchPads.

The developers have also email Qualcomm with the same request to supply code as some of the tablets have been seen to carry the QuIC or Qualcomm Innovation Center logo, which is a Qualcomm engineering subsidiary that works on optimising open-source software on Qualcomm products. But in a reply the developers have received, Qualcomm say the TouchPad was not manufactured or distributed by QuIC.

QUIC logo on TouchPad - video from YouTube

Developers are still trying to track down where these Android TouchPads originated from, and who managed to get Android on them.

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