Hewlett-Packard plans to rejoin the smartphone space

Tech giant HP is planning to re-enter the smartphone race with a new product offering.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
hewlett packard enter smartphone market webos android

Hewlett-Packard hasn't developed a smartphone since killing off WebOS in 2011, but the firm is working on a new device to entice consumers and re-enter the race.

At an event in Beijing, HP Senior Director of Consumer PC and Media Tablets Asia Pacific Yam Su Yin told news agency PTI that it would be "silly" for the company to ignore the lucrative smartphone market.

When asked if a smartphone will join the PCs that HP offers consumers, Yam 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."

HP placed its mobile device bets on the popularity of WebOS after purchasing creator Palm in 2010. However, products using WebOS were discontinued, including the TouchPad tablet line and smartphones such as the Pre and Pixi just 13 months later.

Considering the failure of WebOS, it is likely HP will turn to Android to run future mobile devices. HP already sells a number of Android-operated products, including a Chromebook and 7-inch tablet.

According to IDC, Android claims 69 percent of worldwide marketshare, whereas Apple's iOS marketshare -- second in popularity -- declined from 25 percent in 2012 to 20 percent in Q1 2013.

The smartphone market, although perhaps congested, remains lucrative as companies tap into emerging markets including Brazil and China. However, arriving late to the game, the PC maker will face fierce competition by established smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung -- which together hold the majority of smartphone marketshare.

According to Yam, there may be an advantage to this -- as the company can study products currently on sale and do more to entice consumers. Yam said:

"Being late you have to create a different set of proposition. There are still things that can be done. Its not late. When HP has a smartphone, it will give a differentiated experience."

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