One could argue about whether or not to call this a comeback
, but one thing's for sure: HP had given up the smartphone ghost years ago after a failed attempt to revive Palm
, but now rumors are running wild about an impending smartphone with those two letters planted on the rear. Instead of taking on Apple and Samsung head-on in the saturated North American market, HP is reportedly gearing up to launch "an inexpensive Android smartphone aimed at the prepaid and emerging markets." More frequently, we're seeing phones (Motorola G, for example) launch with ho hum internals, as the attractiveness of launching a killer hero device has dwindled. After all, if you aren't Samsung or Apple, it's pretty tough to gain traction at the high-end.
HP skipped CES, instead opting to launch the phone on its own accord. In fact, that's a practice that is becoming far more common, and not just for flagship products. Strangely, the HP phone is expected to be a phablet, potentially boasting a 5.5" display with an off-contract price point of $200. HP has said in the past that it wanted to re-engage the smartphone market, but that it didn't have any plans for 2013. Lo and behold, we're safely in 2014, and it looks like the company is on the verge of heading back into an arena that it hasn't had too much luck with in the past.
It'll be an interesting move should it pan out. HP has a big enough name to attract at least a glance, but usability and price will have to be right in order to cut through the noise.