HP developing smartphone for 'post-PC era'

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Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman on Friday revealed that the company is working on a new smartphone, and plans to market the unit heavily in foreign countries where handsets may be a consumer's sole computing device.

In an early morning interview on the Fox Business Network (via Mercury News), Whitman outlined the company's future plans to become relevant in the smartphone arena, a market in which HP has not been successful.

In answering a question regarding whether HP intends to build a smartphone using the assets acquired from its purchase of Palm in 2010, Whitman said, "We are working on this." She went on to say that the company "did take a detour into smartphone, and we've gotta get it right this time."

Whitman appears to be taking the company's reentry into the saturated smartphone market seriously, and said her mantra to the team working on the project is: "Better right than faster than we should be there."

"We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that is your first computing device," Whitman said. "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."

The CEO made note of HP's wide-spanning business model, saying that she wants the company to offer the best products from enterprise to tablets and convertibles, "all the way to smartphones." As a short aside, Whitman pointed out that HP recently took over the top spot in workstation sales from Apple.

HP abandoned smartphone development in 2011 after failing to gain traction with devices based on Palm's webOS platform, which the company ultimately made open source.

Whitman gave no hints as to what operating system the upcoming smartphone would use, or when the device would be ready for market.