After buying and then abandoning the Palm webOS smartphone platform, HP will reportedly re-enter the market with a phone offering a “differentiated experience.” The news comes from statements made by HP Senior Director Consumer PC and Media Tablets Asia Pacific Yam Su Yin, speaking to The Indian Express and noted on Twitter by Kevin Restivo:
Yin’s comments allude to a new smartphone from the company but don’t indicate many details on when or what software platform the device would use. And Yin notes that the smartphone game isn’t over, even if HP is late to the game:
“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.”
What might that experience be? My guess would be more enterprise features as most of today’s smartphones started mainly as consumer-centric devices. Yes, they have gained many enterprise level features in terms of security, device management and other business services, HP may have a step up due to its many enterprise customers for PCs and servers.
As far as the platform, Android is the likely front runner. HP has already rejoined the tablet market with its Slate 7, which runs Android, making it a safe bet that an HP smartphone would use the same software. That would allow the company to focus resources on a single mobile platform.
HP also has a long relationship with Microsoft, so a Windows Phone device is possible. In fact, there’s far more potential growth opportunity if HP does use Microsoft’s software; Samsung dominates the Android market in terms of sales and profits and there are fewer companies using Windows Phone for their products.
Here’s a radical thought though: What about an HP-built phone using BlackBerry 10? That would certainly offer the business- or enterprise-focused experience that I’d expect from HP and could help BlackBerry quickly expand the number of handsets that run its software, which it would license to HP.