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Will HP's WebOS tablet arrive too late?

With HP's WebOS tablet rumored for a September 2011 arrival, is this late-blooming device too late to make a meaningful impact?

HP and Palm logos.
HP's 2010 acquisition of Palm has yet to yield a WebOS-based tablet. CBS/AP

There's little doubt that a tablet will take center stage at HP's February 9 WebOS press event. Nearly a year after acquiring Palm, HP may finally show off a WebOS-based tablet and hopefully spill the beans on the product's features, pricing, and carrier agreements.

But announcing a product and delivering it are two different things. Recent rumors have the actual release date of HP's new tablet pegged at September of 2011, putting it several months behind the competition.

Apple, RIM, Dell, and Motorola all have high-profile tablets set to be released in the first quarter of the year, along with LG's G-Slate, which is due out in summer. Considering how RIM has already caught some flack for not having the BlackBerry PlayBook out by 2010, the possible autumn arrival of a WebOS tablet will undoubtedly be a tough sell for HP.