HP thinks about smartphones again

HPHewlett Packard is apparently seriously considering re-entering the smartphone market. In related news, we did some research and found out that HP did indeed make phones at one point.

Joking aside, HP was a force to be reckoned with in the days of Windows Mobile. It viewed smartphones as a natural extension of its once massive iPaq business, but smartphones of the day were just too big, too slow and unattractive.

In 2010 HP acquired Palm and started making WebOS devices, but they flopped. HP launched its last WebOS phone in 2011, but now it might give smartphones another go, although the new generation will probably feature a different operating system and rumour has it that Android tops the list at the moment.

In a recent interview with Indian news agency PTI, carried by The Indian Express, HP Senior Director Consumer PC and Media Tablets Asia Pacific Yam Su Yin said the company is focusing on all market segments. When asked whether smartphones are one of them, she answered yes, but noted that she couldn’t give an exact timetable.

“It would be silly if we say no. HP has to be in the game,” she said.

However, HP might have a lot of catching up to do, but Su Yin believes the company can pull it off.

“Being late you have to create a different set of proposition. There are still things that can be done. It’s not late. When HP has a smartphone, it will give a differentiated experience,” she said.

At this point there is very little to go on, but HP probably won’t be another also-ran Android peddler. It will probably need to integrate a few of its business services into the upcoming phones, and recently the company has been making quite a bit of noise about its cloud services, which should end up on the feature list.

Despite that, we’re not sure we share HP’s optimism. The market is already overcrowded and overheating. It is about to get even tougher as Chinese manufacturers start to look beyond the local market and as some PC component makers enter the space. On the other hand HP has a nice brand to play around with and a top notch sales force.