HP Looking to Reenter the Smartphone Market

HP smartphoneIt’s happening again. HP is trying to get back into the smartphone market, at least according to company CEO Meg Whitman. Whitman was recently reported saying that the company is currently working on a smartphone. According to Whitman, “We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that would be your first computing device. We are a computing company.”

This seems like a smart decision for the company, which has been a leader in computer sales for years. The company dabbled in smartphones back in 2007 when the iPhone was released. In 2010 HP acquired Palm for $1.2 billion, though the company was slow to manufacture devices on the Palm WebOS. This ultimately led to the company abandoning its first WebOS  device last year.

Whitman is acknowledging that the market is becoming a post-PC world and that HP cannot afford to not compete. “We did take a detour into smartphones, and we’ve got to get it right this time,” Whitman added. This news comes after HP reportedly started a new mobile division about a month ago, putting Nokia’s Alberto Torres in charge.

This announcement follows another weak quarter for HP, which also reflects some of the struggles that other computer companies have had in adapting to the era of the smartphone and tablet. The real questions here, however, are what will be inside of HP’s smartphone.

The device definitely won’t run RIM’s BlackBerry platform. Whitman stated that HP wasn’t considering buying any part or all of RIM. HP’s investment in WebOS is wearing thin and there is an even smaller developer community behind it, which means that it is unlikely that HP will focus on that platform either.

What would be a good choice would be for HP to rekindle relationships with Microsoft and go with a Windows Phone 8 device. This would make sense considering HP announced the Ency X2 tablet-laptop hybrid last month, which was said to run Windows 8.

The biggest problem here is that HP is way behind the curve. I think it would be very hard for the company to jump right into the smartphone market and make a phone that everybody is going to want, especially on its first real try. Plus, Samsung and Nokia are already set to unleash some Windows Phone 8 devices and look to be the bigger players in that field. It’ll be a tough road for HP, but one that the company desperately needs to travel.

Source: Gigaom – HP wants back into the smartphone market it abandoned

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