HP’s senior director for consumer PCs and media tablets in Asia recently confirmed that his company fully plans to return to the smartphone market. The company simply has to be in the game, Yam Su Yin said, and that it would be a bad business decision not to reenter the market.
HP famously exited the mobile market during the summer of 2011 by pulling the webOS-based TouchPad tablet from the market shortly after it was launched. The company’s Palm Pre smartphone wasn’t gaining much traction either which helped lead to the decision.
The initial plan seemed to be to sell the operating system although it was eventually opened up to developers as an open source project in late 2011. Back in February, HP sold all of the webOS source code and related patents to LG for use in smart televisions.
When asked if HP was working on a smartphone, he said the answer was yes but he couldn’t give a solid timetable as to when it would be ready and that it would be silly to say otherwise. What’s more, HP now seems to understand what it might take to break into the market. Yin pointed out that you have to create a different set of propositions when you’re late. He promised that HP’s smartphone would give a differentiated experience.
All of this aligns with what we’ve previously heard from HP CEO Meg Whitman, noting that as a computer company, HP had to take advantage of that form factor.