That revelation (new to some, not so secret or surprising to others) comes from Josh Marinacci, formerly of webOS developer relations, writing in response to the epic recap from The Verge of the rise and fall of former smartphone manufacturer Palm. Chris Ziegler's piece is well worth reading. I cut my teeth on a Palm Treo. Marinacci's post also has some interesting nuggets in it. That the TouchPad was designed by HP with Android in mind isn't that big a surprise. It certainly explains that one FrankenPad that appeared to come from Qualcomm with an actual native build of Android on board. Marinacci puts it thusly:
"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."
Another section caught my eye, where Marinacci talks about how the original Motorola Droid didn't necessarily kill off the Palm Pre Plus -- it was Verizon. Or, more specifically, that retail employees never got behind the Pre Plus, instead going for the Droid.
"In the U.S., at least, a phone lives or dies by the retail staff in the carrier stores. Nothing else matters. Not price. Not features. Not apps. If the retail staff doesn't like you ... you die."
True enough, even in the Android microcosm. It's something to remember.