HP says webOS tablets to be 'similar to the iPad'

HP's been saying it'll use webOS on a tablet since the first moment it bought Palm, but it looks like things are starting to pick up ahead of that "early 2011" due date -- in an email to the Palm Developer Community, HP's Peter Helm says webOS will be used on "tablet-style devices similar to the iPad." Check it:

Now that we are officially part of HP, we are going full speed ahead with our applications initiative. Our proprietary operating system, webOS, is now the OS that will be used in HP's mobile devices. This includes mobile handsets as well as tablet-style devices similar to the iPad. We will accordingly leverage Palm's ability to innovate and the scale of HP's vast install base and distribution network previously unavailable to us.

Yeah, that's pretty much the Rorschach test of seemingly-innocuous quotes; you can read it as anything from a meaningless passing reference to the market leader to an overt hint that we'll be looking at an ARM-based device with a 9-inch display and a lengthy battery life. The possibilities are endless -- let's just hope whatever Palm and HP are actually working on delivers on the enormous promise of the platform.

[Thanks, Pierre-Marc]