Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm.

That was fast: HP is already getting out of the tablet and phone business

HP is planning to get out of the PC business — including tablets and phones.

Here’s the relevant section from HP’s press release:

HP will consider a broad range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction.

In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.

As part of all this, HP is close to a $10 billion deal to acquire UK software maker Autonomy.

This is pretty nuts. But given HP’s inability to make WebOS work so far — and the further commoditization of the PC industry — it actually sounds pretty smart. HP will keep the WebOS software and patents, and it can either develop WebOS further, license it, sell it, or sit on it.

Now we’ll see who wants HP’s hardware business: Samsung or Foxconn, maybe?

Follow-up: HP made the right moves: It’s no Apple, so it shouldn’t try to be