HP to expand consumer smartphone offerings

HP may soon go up against the likes of the iPhone. The company is currently concentrating on three segments for its smartphones - enterprise (so businesses), SMBs (so little businesses) and then prosumers (people who work for companies).

In an interview with Pocket-lint at the HP annual conference in Berlin, Paul Damiani, vice president and general manager of the PSG Handheld Global Business Unit, told us that the prosumer market has become really important to HP only in the last year with around 70-90% of smartphone sales now going to individuals rather than companies.

"We have worked on making our products interesting to the individual as well as the IT manager."

But, while this is a growing market, he did hint that HP will go up against the likes of Apple in the future by tempting consumers, or people who use their smartphone for personal as well as business use.

When asked about the iPhone, Damiani was keen to emphasise that this not a rival to HP's current line-up, but added: "Over the years, we are going to expand to consumer devices".

For the meanwhile, though, we can expect more Windows Mobile smartphones from HP as the "ongoing strategic relationship" between the two companies looks set to continue.

And devices will range between 12 key to full QWERTY phones, more smartphones with GPS, as well as lower spec models without and more HP applications are also on the cards.

But does this exclude working with any other software developer, in particular perhaps Google and its Android platform?

Damiani was coy but did state that the deal with Microsoft "doesn't exclude us from using any other OS" though he did add the belief that Windows Mobile is going to become more and more popular in a smartphone market that is expected to hit 61 million units by 2010.

A Google Android enabled device is not, he said. on the roadmap at the moment, but he added: "I would never say never".


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