HP’s CEO Meg Whitman has announced the company will be re-entering the smartphone market with an Android device in the near future.
Bender is an Android from the animated show Futurama, which incidentally has been resurrected from cancellation
Whitman announced the move in an interview with Fox Business News and claimed it was an essential one if HP is to be taken seriously in the computing industry, particularly in emerging markets.
“We have to offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that is your first computing device.
“There will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet, or a PC, or a desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We’re a computing company; we have to take advantage of that form factor.”
HP has yet to decide if they will build the device themselves, licence or buy the technology. However, she made it clear HP had no intentions of buying struggling smartphone company RIM.
“No, that is not a direction that we’re going to head,” she said.
Her decree to not buy BlackBerry appears to have been a lesson learned from HP’s acquisition of WebOS; the software previously used on Palm-branded handsets.
Although HP own WebOS, the new smartphone will run the ubiquitous Android operating system and, according to an ITwire report, has been dubbed “Bender.”
The move to release a smartphone coincides with HP’s shift in direction. Under Whitman’s reign, the company has merged its profitable printer division with its PC division and announced it will cut 27,000 jobs following the value write-down of its services division by $9 Billion.
They have also announced a range of Windows 8 running devices, including a tablet that docks into a notebook-styled keyboard. Whitman is aware the next moves HP makes are crucial if the company is to turn momentum in their favour.
“We have to get it right this time,” she said.