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HP Expected To Announce Smartphone Next Week

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HP is reportedly aiming at developing markets with low-cost, big screen device. We have a gallery of its past efforts

According to some reports, PC manufacturer HP is gearing up to release a new Android smartphone. Quoting ‘unnamed insiders’, 9to5Google blog has reported that the device, which might be announced as early as next week, will be targeted at developing markets and cost around $200 (£120).

The yet-unnamed handset is reported to come with a 5.5-inch screen capable of 720p resolution, similar to that seen in HP’s ill-fated Slate tablets, which the company hoped will help it compete against the likes of Samsung and LG.

small_smartphone01Work in progress

HP CEO Meg Whitman appeared to confirm to Fox Business last year that the company was working on a project that fits the description, stating that “[HP has] 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.”

HP’s new Senior Vice President of Mobility, Alberto Torres, who recently joined the company from Nokia, is said to be heading up the mobile group, which has apparently spent a year and a half working on the product.

The news that HP is preparing to enter a whole new market is somewhat surprising, as the company announced it was cutting 5,000 jobs worldwide earlier this month, following more than 1,100 UK jobs being cut in December.

It should be remembered that this isn’t HP’s first foray into the smartphone market  – following its acquisition of Palm and its webOS platform in 2010, the company had previously launched devices like the HP Veer and HP TouchPad, though it soon discontinued these models.

Taking into the account the rumoured launch date of next week, we expect more information to surface immediately, although a full encounter with the device may not happen until Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.

Below, you can see some of HP’s previous smartphone experiments:

HP smartphone history

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HP smartphone history
The HP Jornada 928 from 2002. IT "seamlessly integrates handheld and mobile phone features" (ZDnet) and cost only £390

 

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