Friday, February 15, 2013

HP to embrace Android for future mobile devices

HP unceremoniously dumped webOS devices quite some time ago, and in doing so exited mobile. The company is about to re-enter mobile, though, and this time, its devices will be sporting Android, a report said on Wednesday.

HP has chosen to go the route of the tablet for its first Android device. The tablet has been in the works since before Thanksgiving and sources say it could be one of the first tablets to ship with the Tegra 4, NVIDIA's latest mobile processor, which was unveiled at CES.

NVIDIA’s own Project Shield gaming system is slated to release carrying a Tegra 4 proceesor in Q2 2013, while the company's partners Vizio and Toshiba are also reportedly working on Tegra 4 tablets. HP's tablet, if it sports a Tegra 4, the device will undoubtedly be high-end. Two sources familiar with the matter said that the device may even be announced soon. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to discuss unreleased products.

HP is also working on an Android-powered smartphone, but CEO Meg Whitman, speaking at the Gartner Symposium IT Expo in October of last year, said the company would not release a smartphone in 2013.

HP needs to move back into mobile. The future -- most analysts have said -- is clearly mobile, and HP's good fortunes in PC computing won't buoy the company up if consumers shift away from laptops and desktops to tablets and smartphones.

Issuing a tablet first could be well-considered by HP. Assuming it is a wi-fi only version, it will avoid any carrier negotiations that HP would have to go through. On the other hand, making a dent in the iPad's market share won't be easy, and the most successful tablets to do so are lower-cost tablets such as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire.

HP is reportedly holding private meetings during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain at the end of February, and it's possible it might show off the new tablet there. However, word is that an official announcement won't be made until after MWC.

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