A former webOS developer relations guy, Josh Marinacci, wrote a lengthy post about his time at Palm, and it’s quite interesting. One detail he wrote about is that the TouchPad was designed to run Android. Looking back, most of its hardware was Android-compatible, and the TouchPads that shipped with Android accidentally proved they had it working. he states:
“The hardware design for the touchpad came from HP. It was designed before the acquisition and originally ran Android. That’s why you’ll occasionally hear rumors of a touchpad the shipped with Android on it. That’s also why the specs were a bit anemic when it shipped over a year later.”
This is a pretty big statement. HP was trying to enter the Android tablet game, one we know is difficult even now. It might also explain why webOS didn’t run too great without some user modifications; it may have been rushed and gotten working in a small amount of time. It’s all interesting news, and definitely helped the community create fully working Android builds for the TouchPad (which most TouchPad owners use, I assume).