Despite the fact that HP spent $1.2 billion on Palm and then subsequently dismantled the mobile OS and its hardware without ever giving it much of a shot at survival, the company has hinted recently that it's ready to get back into the smartphone game. Last September, CEO Meg Whitman said that "we have to ultimately offer a smartphone," and more recent reports have indicated that the company is looking to build Android-based tablets and smartphones. Those rumblings got a shot in the arm recently — in response to a question about a potential smartphone, an HP executive from the company's Asia Pacific division told The Indian Express that it was still in the works and that "HP has to be in the game." The executive also said that "when HP has a smartphone, it will give a differentiated experience" but declined to give a timetable for any future product.
Despite these quotes, the company isn't any closer to actually bringing a new phone to the market. We reached out to HP to verify these comments, and the company let us know that there's nothing new to report beyond what Whitman had said in the past. While the company said that "we see tablets and smartphones becoming critical computing platforms," it doesn't have any specific plans "in the short to medium term." Long-term, the company will "look at the right approach to enter the smartphone market," but for now the company is focused on "high-powered computing devices." The company's full statement is below.
We see tablets and smartphones becoming critical computing platforms and enablers of new set of applications and solutions for customers spanning large enterprise, small business and consumers. We will focus on enabling solutions for our commercial and consumer target markets. We see that bringing manageability, security and increasing level of productivity leveraging the new world of mobile devices. In the short to medium term, we will remain focused on high powered computing devices such as workstations to mobile productivity tools such as tablets. In the long term, we will look at the right approaches to enter the smartphone market as well.