These are tough times for HP, and that's not us saying it but the company's own CEO Meg Whitman, who reckons it'll be at least 2016 before she can “right the ship” and get its bottom line back in the black.
Not quite the ideal circumstances to be considering a push into the smartphone market, and fortunately Whitman seems to agree – for the time being at least.
HP hasn't had any mobile hardware on the shelves since last year's failed Pre3 and Veer smartphones and of course the ill-fated ThinkPad tablet.
But it's been making some serious noises in that direction again over the past couple of months, and has been the leading force in the development of the reimagined Open webOS open-source platform, which was released at the end of last month.
What really kicked the notion of a new HP smartphone firmly into the spotlight, however, were Whitman's comments in a recent interview, where she stated plainly: “we have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world [the smartphone] would be your first computing device,” she was reported as saying.
Her remarks – unsurprisingly – were interpreted as her saying HP had some actual device plans in place, rumours that Whitman has now squashed.
“We don't have any plans to introduce a smartphone in 2013,” she said during an HP analyst day this week. “But we've got to start thinking about what is our unique play.”
Too bad HP didn't start thinking about its unique play before spending a few hundred million on Palm...