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Today in Tech: Why HP's Touchpad was doomed to fail

January 3, 2012: 6:00 AM ET

Fortune's curated selection of tech stories from the long holiday weekend. Sign up to get the round-up delivered to you each and every day.

"Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country!"
-- Reported, quickly deleted Tweet from @rupertmurdoch (The Sydney Morning Herald)

The HP Touchpad: Doomed to fail.

* According to former Palm employees, HP's Touchpad tablet, which the company eventually liquidated last year with a $99 fire sale, didn't have a chance. Leadership and engineering talent was lacking. The company took shortcuts while developing the WebOS operating system in just 9 months. And its WebOS operating system used WebKit, an open-source software engine that some felt wasn't quite ready for prime time, which left WebOS underpowered compared to Apple iOS and Android. (The New York Times)

* How ex-CEO Samuel J. Palmisano turned IBM (IBM) into a company with a market value of $217 million, more than four times HP's. (The New York Times)

* Verizon Wireless (VZ) dropped plans for a $2 surcharge fee after numerous customer complaints and scrutiny from federal regulators. The company had planned to charge customers $2 for making one-time payments by phone or online later this month. (CNNMoney)

* Sales of Sony's new handheld platform, the PlayStation Vita, dropped during its second week in Japan. While it managed to sell over 320,000 units during its first two days available, it only sold some 72,500 units in all of week two, translating to a 78% drop. (PCWorld)

* Android may be "walloping" iOS where market share is concerned, but colleague Phil Elmer-Dewitt argues month-over-month growth is another story, comparing this race to the tortoise and the hare. While Apple's market share has grown slowly but steadily month over month, Google's (GOOG) rate of growth has dropped, from a high of 20% last January to a new low of 1.3%. (Fortune)

* A round-up of the some of the holiday's best retail ads, from the likes of Apple, Wal-Mart, and Target. (All Things D)

* Texting is on the decline in some parts of the world like Finland, Hong Kong, and Australia, likely due to the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerry Messenger, and iMessage. (The New York Times)

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