HP building 'at least one' Android tablet: source

HP building 'at least one' Android tablet: source

Summary: A source speaking to ZDNet confirms HP, the world's number one PC maker by shipments, is developing at least one Android tablet. But the computer maker will not be ditching Windows 8, or its relationship with Microsoft, any time soon.

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HP is building an Android-powered tablet, a source close to the company has confirmed to ZDNet, speaking under the condition of anonymity.

android

The source, who is familiar with the company's plans, said that Android would be used "in at least one upcoming tablet."

We understand that HP will remain invested in Windows 8, but will also branch out to rival platforms in a bid to help secure the company's stake in the tablet market. 

It follows ReadWrite's own confirmation that the world's largest PC maker by shipments, and one of the more important elements to Microsoft's Windows division, is branching out to other platforms.

It's no surprise that HP is pushing out the tablet boat. Comments from HP chief executive Meg Whitman last year hinted that a smartphone could be on deck in the not-too-distant future, but ultimately ruled out a smartphone for this calendar year

However, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek warned at the time that a move into the tablet and smartphone space by HP would damage the company's balance sheets, and dubbed the move "risky."

HP will be playing catch up in the tablet space, after first dabbling with the TouchPad back in 2010. The tablet, which was nothing remarkable by any standards, was one of the best selling tablets of the year thanks to a company firesale of the product. 

It comes at a time just after Microsoft loaned $2 billion to Dell as part of efforts to buy it out of the stock market. The move was seen as a bid by Microsoft to help secure the world's second largest PC maker by shipments investment in Windows 8.

So far, Microsoft's latest operating system has seen modest sales and an uptick in month-on-month traction in share, but has fallen short compared to previous versions of the desktop software since its launch in October.

Microsoft said recently that it has sold 60 million licenses of Windows 8, but according to Net Applications, the latest operating system has only a 2.26 percent market share

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Windows

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37 comments
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  • No man can serve two masters

    HP is trying to fulfil the desires of its customers without offending its most important vendor. This is no more likely to be successful than the late half-hearted effort to market a WebOS tablet.

    If for no other reason that this, HP really needs to spin off its PC business. It's hobbling the rest of the company.
    John L. Ries
    • Oh?

      Acer, Asus and Samsung seem to be doing fine.
      symbolset
      • Good point

        But they aren't the world's largest PC manufacturers (HP is) and they are paying MS for the privilege of not being sued. I suspect also that they're not getting the promo money from MS that HP is.

        And does HP avoid pushing HP-UX and VMS to avoid cutting into sales of Windows machines? Probably.
        John L. Ries
        • Sued how?

          Why isn't Microsoft sueing Lenovo? They are just as big as HP in terms of PC sales and they make plenty of android devices.
          Emacho
          • There would be no basis for a lawsuit

            Unless there's an exclusive contract, which would land MS right back in antitrust court. Nowadays, MS uses volume pricing and promotion deals to enforce OEM loyalty (or so I'm told).
            John L. Ries
          • After the anti-trust suit

            Everyone gets the same OEM pricing.

            Otherwise it would be right back into court for MS.

            Lenovo, Dell, Asus, Acer and many other windows OEMs make devices running other operating systems and they don't get sued by MS as you suggest HP would.
            Emacho
        • HP should build 20 android tablets

          This way they can die even faster
          I Am Galactus
      • Oh?

        Acer, Asus and Samsung don't compete in the markets where HP makes the bulk of their margins. His point stands, IMO, however I don't agree with a spin-off scenario. The supply chain upside to moving a lot of silicon at low margins gives them leverage in negotiating pricing for the higher margin hardware lines in the enterprise business.
        Dell-Bill B
        • No profit is no profit

          Making Windows PCs is a profitless endeavor. It has been for over a decade.
          symbolset
  • HP building 'at least one' Android tablet: source

    TouchPad v2 is going to do just about the same as v1 did. If HP is still chasing tablets they are destined to fail.
    Loverock-Davidson
    • If HP can't compete

      Then they may as well shut down.
      symbolset
    • Boot the TouchPad v1 to ICS and "Giddy-Up!"

      I have a 32Gb TouchPad w/ICS and a new iPad 4/64. The two year old TouchPad still has some life in it. Most of my tablet use is browser based, so I really don't care which one I grab on the way out of the house. HP would have had something if they had taken the Android route to begin with.
      sterve
      • I, Too

        Have an HP TouchPad with ICS. Runs like a champ. The iPad of the time was gearing up for the 2nd generation, and the TouchPad does quite well against the iPad 2nd gen. I do use it mostly for couch browsing and the Kindle app; I do have some other apps on it as well.

        If their "TouchPad v2" is as well put together as their v1, they will do OK with it.
        benched42
  • WebOS redux

    Now back to WebOS?
    bobsmon
    • webOS

      webOS is a great platform for phones and tablets. The one major drawback is a lack of apps. If they had an updated Facebook app and a Netflix app, I'd use it on my TouchPad.
      benched42
  • HP is a mess...

    Fire the entire HP board and the top management, HP has totally screwed up its own business. If HP alienate Microsoft, the loser will be HP and not Microsoft.
    Owlll1net
    • Arguably...

      ...a major part of HP's problem is that very dependency on MS. Dell has the same problem. I suspect that IBM sold its PC business to rid itself of that very dependency.
      John L. Ries
      • IBM had bigger fish to go after, and the mainframe and services sectors

        are where IBM had its best fits.

        If Lenovo could make the former IBM PC division work, IBM could have done the same, but, IBM was not into sharing a market with anyone, and the PC sector had too many players, and IBM was not in control of the whole fate of that division.
        adornoe
  • What I would love to see

    HP merging with Acer! They could go down together faster than they are going down separately. Then some of Microsoft's more innovative partners could, with the low end crap finally out of the market, get enough market share to raise the standards for Windows devices. For example, everything Asus makes is better than anything Acer or HP makes. The Surface Pro beats the pants off the lame tablets that Acer makes and HP isn't even in the tablet game.
    Sir Name
    • "Lame tablets that Acer makes"

      You must have never owned an Acer tablet. In my experience as an IT manager in the education industry, I have used/tried/owned all sorts of tablets from iPads to Samsung to Asus and Acer. The Acer tablets always stood out as the best and most cost-effective choice. My company now uses all Acer tablets for our instructors with rave reviews. I personally own 3 different models: a500 (thick but bulletproof), a510 (super fast and smooth) and the a700 (beats the pants off the iPad in performance and display).
      njamie1