HP aims to re-enter the global smartphone race

Technology giant HP is looking at re-entering the smartphone race and is working on launching a new device, which will offer a "differentiated experience" to consumers.

Without giving a timeline, HP Senior Director Consumer PC and Media Tablets Asia Pacific Yam Su Yin told PTI that the company is focusing on all segments including tablet PCs, notebook PCs as well as all-in-ones (AIOs).

When asked if a smartphone is in the offing, she said: "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."

The company had bet big on the smartphone ecosystem when it purchased Palm for USD 1.2 billion in April 2010 but the webOS-based devices failed to take off.

With the likes of Apple and Samsung seeing a strong spurt in sales pushed by smartphones, HP also seems to be seen cashing in on the opportunity.

According to IDC, smartphone shipments are expected to grow 32.7 per cent year-on-year reaching 958.8 million units in 2013, up from 722.5 million units shipped last year.

It also expects 2013 to mark the first year when smartphone shipments would surpass those of feature phones, accounting for 52.2 per cent of total mobile phone shipments worldwide.

Emerging markets are forecast to account for 64.8 per cent of all smartphones shipped during 2013, up from 43.1 per cent in 2010.

Once it re-enters the smartphone segment, HP will have to compete with category leaders like Apple and Samsung, which together have more than 50 per cent share of the global smartphone market.

Asked if it will be able to make up for the lost time, she said, "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."

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