HP has plans to re-enter the smartphone business in 2014, and just as we thought, it’s all about the phablets. More specifically, HP will be focusing their efforts on large screen devices that allow consumers to carry only one device. Speaking to re/code the company confirmed plans to enter the market with such devices in India, starting February of this year. If you’re thinking “Why India?” then you might not have been paying attention to the smartphone industry in the last year or so. With high-end and well established markets like the United States and much of Europe very difficult markets for newcomers to break into, emerging markets – like India – have been prime targets. For HP, a company that has struggled with the mobile market ever since the fall of Windows Mobile, emerging markets might be the key to their growth in the sector.
Later today, HP will announce two new devices, the Slate 6 (pictured above) and the Slate 7 Voice Tab. We’d already heard rumors about these two devices and it seems a lot of the rumors have been dead on. The Slate 6 will feature a 6-inch display and is decidedly a smartphone device, meanwhile the Slate 7 Voice Tab is a 7-inch tablet that can make phone calls. Here in the West, those sort of tablets aren’t very common, but in India they’re pretty popular and there’s some healthy competition for HP to contend with.
Speaking to re/code, Ron Coughlin, VP of HP’s Consumer PC Business had this to say about their plans for India: “We see a need in India that we can meet. Consumers are looking for a way to consolidate devices. We think there’s an opportunity to enter a growing market where there’s an unmet need.” Coughlin and HP have certainly done their homework here, large devices and tablets that can work double shifts have proven popular in India over the past couple of years. In fact, tablets in India are pretty cheap compared to the rest of the World, which probably has something to do with the large amount of manufacturers selling them over there.
Can HP make a comeback in the mobile market, or is it simply too late? Let us know what you think over on Google+ and down below!