Report: HP May Get Back Into the Smartphone Business

An HP director says the company "has to be in the game."

HP may be considering offering a smartphone, but not necessarily to U.S. consumers. A company executive told The Indian Express that the company is working on a smartphone, as well as other mobile products.

In The Indian Express, PTI reported, "Technology giant HP is looking at re-entering the smartphone race and is working on launching a new device, which will offer a 'differentiated experience' to consumers. Without giving a timeline, HP Senior Director Consumer PC and Media Tablets Asia Pacific Yam Su Yin told PTI that the company is focusing on all segments including tablet PCs, notebook PCs as well as all-in-ones (AIOs). When asked if a smartphone is in the offing, she said: 'The answer is yes but I cannot give a timetable. It would be silly if we say no. HP has to be in the game.'"

PCWorld's Brad Chacos added, "Yam’s comment echoes what HP CEO Meg Whitman said all the way back in September. 'We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that is your first computing device,' Whitman said in an interview with Fox Business Network. 'You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet, or a PC, or a desktop,' she said. 'They will do everything on the smartphone. We’re a computing company; we have to take advantage of that form factor.'"

PCMag's Chloe Albanesius noted, "HP has, of course, already tried its hand at smartphones. In April 2010, it spent $1.2 billion to acquire Palm and its webOS platform - which former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein recently called a 'waste.' By Feb. 2011, it unveiled the HP TouchPad tablet and two WebOS smartphones, the HP Veer and the Pre 3. The TouchPad, however, had trouble competing against the iPad, while the smartphones got lost amongst the iPhone and Android devices."

Ars Technica's Casey Johnston observed, "Lately, HP has been dabbling in Android, releasing a 21-inch tablet/desktop hybrid running Android 4.2.2, and there are rumors that the company plans to develop full-fledged Android laptops (as opposed to the tablets-with-keyboard docks that are already available). While we wouldn't say that these product routes demonstrate the deepest understanding of what customers want… at least HP is trying?"

Tags: smartphone, HP, webOS, mobile device, India

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