HP waiting in the wings for Windows Phone? Whitman: "We ultimately have to offer a smartphone"
Could HP rejoin Microsoft in 2013? Maybe.
Yesterday, Fox Business has a recent interview with HP CEO Meg Whitman where all aspects of the business were discussed. HP has had a very interesting history these last 10 years and while we don’t want to focus on the changes, it’s on again/off again foray into smartphones is highly relevant.
To that issue, Whitman was asked directly "So a smartphone is not if, but when, for Hewlett-Packard?" to which Whitman replied:
"[HP will] have to ultimately offer a smartphone, because in many countries in the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We're a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor."
That’s a smart analysis of the mobile industry but also a tough problem to solve.
Making a smartphone is hard. Let’s not mix messages here, it takes a lot of R&D, time, money and we’re talking some of the most complex systems around in the consumer space. On top of that, like most things in technology, it’s a moving train.
Management choices for making a new product--You can only have 2 of the 3
Whitman’s response naturally causes us to ask, so which mobile OS?
webOS 2.x might seem like a contender because after all, HP “owns” it. Meanwhile Open webOS could also be used, but we’re talking a lot of development time, money and R&D to get it up to snuff. For those reasons, fellow curmudgeon on our sister site webOS Nation Derek Kessler believes any “webOS” is out of the running.
That leaves Windows Phone 8.x or Android. Here, there only appears to be one direction: Windows Phone 8 due to the past history between HP and Microsoft. The two companies have worked together for years on tablets, PCs and even smartphones (Windows Mobile of days yore). We suppose HP could throw Microsoft under the train, but it would seem odd that they would miss that opportunity for the massive synergestic interplay with HPs laptops, PCs and slates—not to mention any discounts for licensing and that ever so important patent protections from Redmond.
At this point, however, it sounds more like early thoughts by HP for a smartphone. We couldn’t imagine anything showing up from them until mid 2013.
That raises another question: Can HP make a compelling phone in 2013? Mind you, most if not all of the Palm-team behind their great hardware have already left HP. Sound off in comments.