After abandoning WebOS and making it open source, it looks like HP is now wanting to get back into the tablet game, but this time with a different operating system. Tech blog readwrite has reported that sources say HP is working on a high-end tablet running Nvidia’s brand new Tegra 4 chip (which was announced at CES last month and featured in their Project Shield handheld console) and said tablet will run Android.
Another interesting rumor is HP might also launch a new smartphone that runs Android. This is interesting news as HP CEO Meg Whitman (who assumed leadership 18 months ago) did mention last year they were open to the idea of new tablets but not smartphones. Of course, she may have had an unannounced change of mind and HP might now be working on a new phone.
With tablets and smartphones becoming increasingly ubiquitous and the content-consumption device of choice for many consumers, I think it is important for HP to return to both these areas. And if HP is still ruling out (re)entering the smartphone market, they should really reconsider their decision. They were doing decent with their iPAQ devices years ago before mysteriously slumping into quietness and abandoning the market around 2009; and then they attempted to re-enter the market via WebOS devices but failed (though one should really attribute this to their mistake of buying Palm when it was failing, for a whole lot of money, instead of letting the company die off).
The competition hasn’t run far away from HP just yet and Android already has pretty established roots in the mobile market. And being afraid to make a comeback after a long depression is no longer an excuse, especially not after RIM (now known as BlackBerry) bravely made a comeback this month with the announcement of BB OS 10 and two new BlackBerry models. I don’t think BlackBerry was much better off than HP (in the mobile market) over the last few years either; while HP completely deserted it, RIM just continued making ‘new’ devices that were just rehashes of much older products. But here they are today with a confident smile and positive outlook and pushing their latest BlackBerry Z10. HP should actually follow BlackBerry’s example because there really is a chance to reestablish themselves in today’s mobile market right now and such an opportunity should be seized before it’s gone.
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Spain is coming up really soon, to be held in Barcelona between February 25 and 28, 2013, and if HP is going to show anything off (either to the public or behind closed doors), there’s a pretty high likelihood that it will happen at one of the world’s largest mobile conference events of the year.