HP says more tablets coming as it puts past distractions behind

The CTO of HP's mobility group said the company is looking forward to creating a range of tablets for consumers and enterprises

Hewlett-Packard made some noise at Mobile World Congress show with its new Slate 7-inch tablet and then the sale of webOS assets, but the company is looking to put past distractions behind and will release more tablets in the future, the company said.

"You can expect going forward [to release] a family of products," said Shane Wall, chief technology officer at Hewlett-Packard's mobility group, in an interview at MWC. The mobility trade show is being held in Barcelona from Feb. 25 to 28.

The 7-inch tablet attracted a small crowd at the HP booth, with people lining up to photograph or use the device. The company effectively took a dive into the low-cost tablet and tried to differentiate its tablet by a lower price, and also features like a micro-SD card slot for expandable storage and dual-cameras. Google's US$199 Nexus 7 is priced higher and has a quad-core processor, a higher-resolution screen and Android 4.2, but HP believes it will sell a lot of the tablets at the $169 price.

"We're obviously late," Wall said. "We wanted to start and see how aggressive we can be on the low end."

The Slate 7 also signifies HP's re-entry into the consumer tablet market after a disastrous stint with the webOS mobile operating system, which it got with the acquisition of Palm in 2010 for $1.2 billion. The first webOS tablet, the TouchPad, was launched in 2011, but later discontinued along with webOS smartphones. Since then HP has released enterprise tablets such as ElitePad 900 with Windows 8, and now the company has adopted Android for consumer tablets.

HP on Monday sold some webOS assets including source code and personnel for an undisclosed amount to LG Electronics, who will use the assets to expand the web capabilities in its smart TVs.

But the company is moving on from past distractions, and has formed a new mobility group that is taking a fresh look at mobile devices for consumers.

"When Meg came in she re-emphasized long term... we need to be in the mobility space. Just forget about the things that happened in the past," Wall said.

Wall, who joined just recently, said the webOS and Palm assets helped in designing the Slate 7.

"I wasn't here for webOS, I wasn't here for Palm... but we certainly had that research and the benefits that my team gained from that," Wall said "We took in all the experience we had."

HP mulled about the Slate 7 for a year, and developed it quickly. HP is initially focusing on tablets, and Wall did not say whether a smartphone would come soon. But Wall said the aggressive pricing should help it quickly gain tablet market share, Wall said.

The company in the past gained tablet market share when it decided to discontinue the TouchPad and sell off remaining units starting at $99, but that share gain was short lived. The fire sale launched a buying frenzy, which gave HP a temporary boost in tablet market share. But that quickly vanished as TouchPad units sold out.

HP worked closely with Google on Slate 7, and there could be an upgrade to Android 4.2 sometime in the future. Additionally, Wall did not say if HP would provide a cloud service for its low-end tablets, but there could be something in the future.

"You could expect with the cloud investments that we've made over time, our ability the link is certainly there, and we'll exploit that," Wall said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MWChardware systemstabletsHewlett-Packard

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?