HP clears up smartphone confusion


HP has confirmed it will be working in the smartphone market after chief executive Mark Hurd made some confusing comments this week.

Hurd told delegates at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch technology conference that HP did not acquire Palm "to be in the smartphone market", according to various reports.

"We bought it for the IP. The webOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment. We have tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices. Now imagine a web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition," Hurd said.

The chief executive's comments caused widespread confusion across the web about what was going to be done with Palm. HP has now responded, indicating that the company will be putting effort into the smartphone sphere.

"When we look at the market, we see an array of interconnected devices, including tablets, printers, and of course, smartphones. We believe webOS can become the backbone for many of HP's small form factor devices, and we expect to expand webOS's footprint beyond just the smartphone market, all while leveraging our financial strength, scale, and global reach to grow in smartphones," a statement from HP sent to IT PRO read.

HP did not respond to IT PRO's request for more information as to whether this means it will be developing physical smartphones in the near future.

The company bought Palm for $1.2billion in April after the mobile manufacturer had experienced major losses.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.