It was back in August 2011 that HP’s then CEO Leo Apotheker decided to wind up HP’s fledgling smartphones and tablets manufacturing business. It’s WebOS platform which many thought would die an unceremonious death however still lives on with the company deciding to license it to other hardware makers. A few months after Apotheker’s sweeping moves, HP incurred heavy losses and he was fired from the post. Fast forward to 2013 and now we have some news regarding the possibility of HP re-entering the same space the company had famously exited.
In an interview with India’s PTI (Press Trust of India), HP Senior Director Consumer PC and Media Tablets Asia Pacific Yam Su Yin divulged that HP would be focusing on all key segments of the personal computing market including tablet PCs, notebook PCs as well as all-in-ones (AIOs). She was also asked whether HP is considering getting back to the smartphones business and surprisingly the answer was in affirmative. She quipped: “The answer is yes but I cannot give a timetable. It would be silly if we say no. HP has to be in the game.”
This is a uturn form the company’s (in)famous 2011 decision and we could see HP back to making smartphones and tablets in the not too distant future. It however is too early to comment whether we would be seeing a revival of WebOS which the company had acquired with the buyout of Palm Inc. back in 2010 for USD 1.2 billion. HP’s decision to go back to the smartphones business could also be due to the continued success of HP’s erstwhile competitors Apple and Samsung both of which continue to dominate the smartphones market.
When asked whether it would be too late for HP to re-enter the highly competitive smartphones business since its competition already has a large chunk of the market, she retorted: “Being late you have to create a different set of proposition. There are still things that can be done. Its not late. When HP has a smartphone, it will give a differentiated experience.”
Sounds great, right?!