“Better late than never” shouldn’t be HP’s motto, but apparently the PC maker believes it can compete in the smartphone sector. Recent rumors in the blogosphere are solidifying speculations that HP is throwing in a bid for a piece of the smartphone pie.
According to a tip given to 9to5Google, HP is set to launch a 5.5-inch Android handset inspired by Samsung’s Galaxy Note. The device, with specs that may rival that of Samsung’s Galaxy Mega 6.3, might debut as early as next week. Although the HP phablet is taking a page out of the Galaxy Note’s in terms of physique, speculators suspect that the device is meant to compete with the Galaxy Mega line, which have street prices of around $400.
It’s a given that HP, like many other PC vendors, has been scrambling to diversify its portfolio as the PC sale declines. Even so, the mobile revolution—smartphones and tablets in particular—is at its peak, and many analysts predict that growth in this area will greatly decrease over the next few years. Growth in the low-end segment should continue as emerging markets such as India and China continue to adopt the mobile trends, but manufacturers are making next to nothing on their hardware. Hence, it will be interesting to see if HP can attract a user-base for its hardware and services in the smartphone business.
(IDC stats of users’ migration from feature phones to smartphones)
Samsung, staying true to its tradition, will also announce yet another smartphone called the Neo or Lite (a cheaper version of the Note) at an elaborate ceremony. The timing of the two announcements will clash with each other, and HP is definitely the underdog and will have a hard time competing with the South Korean for press hype. Considering the price point (if rumors are true) at which HP is trying to deploying its Android handset at, we’re not expecting the device to be anything game-changing.