Play it again, HP says, as it gets back into smartphones

HP exec confirms work on new smartphone, says it's not too late to try again

Two years after virtually dropping out of the mobile business, Hewlett-Packard is working on a new smartphone, an HP executive told Press Trust of India.

Asked if HP is working on a smartphone, Yam Su Yin, HP senior director of consumer PC and media tablets for Asia Pacific 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."

She didn't say what OS the smartphone would use or when it might launch, but said it's not too late to be in the smartphone arena.

HP's Palm Pre smartphone and its TouchPad tablet, both based on the webOS purchased from Palm in 2010, didn't do well, and HP closed its mobile division in 2011.

For a time, HP considered selling the OS, but then announced in late 2011 that it would contribute the code behind webOS to the open-source community.

Analysts expect HP to focus on using Android for mobile devices. In late June, HP announced a Slate 21, a 21.5-in. all-in-one desktop device running Android 4.2.2.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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