PC maker gearing up for renewed push into mobile market
HP is gearing up for an aggressive push into the tablet market in 2013, and could be the first manufacturer to launch a device with Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chip.
The hardware giant has been working on an Android tablet since late 2012, sources have told ReadWrite. There are no specifications available, but the firm could make an announcement at MWC at the end of February. HP is also toying with the idea of releasing Android handsets, but they are unlikely to be launched before the end of 2013.
The firm’s previous efforts to break into the mobile market ended in disaster. HP launched a range of smartphones and tablets running the webOS operating system it purchased from Palm. However, the devices were abruptly discontinued after just six weeks on sale in 2011 as the then CEO Leo Apotheker decided to try and turn the firm into a software company.
The HP TouchPad tablets were heavily discounted and flew off the shelves as users were attracted by the high-end specification. Some tablets were even found to have shipped with Android 2.2 (Froyo) instead of webOS. It is believed that these were developmental devices which the Android OS was being tested on.
Although HP has signed up to use Android, the battle to gain market share is not going to be easy. All the major OEMs such as Acer, Asus and Samsung have been pushing Android devices. Samsung has had the most success in the smartphone market, but even the Korean firm has struggled to attract users away from the iPad.
HP could find it difficult to compete, but the firm has made clear indications that it no longer wants to rely solely on Windows. The firm refused to make Windows RT devices, instead opting to focus on launching a full Windows 8 ElitePad 900. HP also followed in the footsteps of Acer and Samsung by releasing a low-price laptop running Google’s Chrome OS.