Hewlett Packard has flirted with making smartphones in the past, but over the past few years has abandoned them to concentrate on laptops and PCs. However, as smartphones and tablets replace computers for many people, particularly in emerging markets, HP knows it’s going to have to make a return in the near future.
Earlier this year, it announced the HP Slate 7, an Android tablet powered by an Intel processor, and rumours have spread before and since that it would release a phone too. But, according to the latest gossip, it may not use Android as the operating system. Instead, it’s apparently experimenting with Windows Phone.
Windows Phone 8 is battling it out with BlackBerry for the honour of coming third behind Android and iOS, and Microsoft – following its acquisition of Nokia – is keen to get more companies building smartphones running the OS.
Does this mean we should expect an HP Windows Phone soon? Well, not necessarily. It makes sense HP would want to explore all the options if it’s planning a return to making smartphones, and building prototypes is part of the process. Just because they’ve been made though, doesn’t mean they’ll ever go on sale.
HP’s CEO Meg Whitman has recently said a phone, “is in the works,” but wouldn’t commit on when one would arrive, having revealed in the past it wouldn’t announce it during 2013. If Microsoft has been romancing HP though, it may have accelerated its plans. We’ll have to wait and see.