We're still trying to wrap our heads around yesterday's sounding of what will most likely be the death knell for webOS. The fine folks over at The Next Web have offered some insight, and it seems that hardware was the problem.
It's no secret that the TouchPad was released with a single-core chip in an age of dual-core tablets and super phones. As we noted in our review, the device simply couldn't keep up with the competition. According to TNW's sources, developers actually managed to port webOS over to the iPad 2 for testing purposes, and it ran "over twice as fast." It's not terribly surprising that Apple's dual-core A5 chip was able to outpace the single 1.2GHz core found inside the TouchPad, but It may seem strange that the 1.2GHz chip inside the TouchPad was so easily outclassed by the slower clocked A5, but Apple's chip is sporting faster Cortex-A9 architecture, while HP relied on Qualcomm's slower A8-based Snapdragon. It seems that the hardware constraints were ultimately what did in the Linux-based mobile OS.
Update: This article incorrectly stated that the TouchPad shipped with a single-core processor. It was in fact a dual-core Snapdragon APQ8060.