Meg Whitman Stories January 10, 2014

We’ve gotten word from inside HP that the company is set to release an inexpensive Android smartphone aimed at the prepaid and emerging (BRIC) markets. We’re hearing the street price will be around $200 and it will be released in more than one market. Our source has pegged the launch at next week but delays can’t be ruled out at this point (and we’ve yet to hear anything publicly). Nokia Meego defector and new HP SVP Mobility  Alberto Torres is said to be heading up the group which has been working on the product for a year and a half.

We’re hearing that the device resembles the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note with obvious cost cutting measures to get the device down to the $200 price point. With HP’s Slate Android products, the company cut costs by using low pixel density displays so having a 720P display would seem about right and put it on a collision course with Samsung’s Galaxy Mega line with its 6.3-inch display and current street price of around $400.

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HP CEO Meg Whitman last year confirmed the company was building a smartphone on the trail of dumping its WebOS ‘detour’.

“So a smartphone is not if, but when, for Hewlett-Packard?” – Whitman replied:  “[HP has] to ultimately offer a smartphone, because in many countries in the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We’re a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor.”

Computerworld UK reported that she indicated it wouldn’t be in 2013.

“We don’t have any plans to introduce a smartphone in 2013, but we’ve got to start thinking about what is our unique play, how do we capture this element of the personal computing market?” Whitman said.

HP has to offer every kind of device, from workstations through all-in-one PCs, laptops, hybrid PCs, tablets “and, ultimately, smartphones,” she said.

“I believe that five years from now, if we don’t have a smartphone or whatever the next generation of that device is, we’ll be locked out of a huge segment of the population in many countries of the world,” she said.

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Meg Whitman Stories November 3, 2013

HP and Google combined to create two new Chromebooks which were launched early last month: The $299  Intel Haswell-powered Chromebook 14 and the smaller Samsung Exynos ARM-powered Chromebook 11. Both machines mark new territory for Google and HP. The Silicon Valley neighbors have been getting closer and closer since Meg Whitman took over as CEO, including an expanding array of Android tablets as well. The initial HP Chromebooks were clearly re-purposed Windows laptops. These clearly are something entirely different… expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Meg Whitman Stories December 9, 2011

As you can see from the internal email sent to HP employees by CEO Meg Whitman below (via TechCrunch), webOS is officially alive and well and on its way to open source land. Last we heard HP was soon going to come to a solid decision on the fate of webOS and rumors started flying about  the company even being open to Android. However, today’s confirmation from Whitman most likely means the company hopes webOS will be picked up by vendors looking for an alternative to Google’s OS. There’s no mention of new hardware in the letter, but The Verge sat down with Whitman and board member Marc Andreessen who say there will indeed be new HP webOS tablets by 2013:

Will HP be creating any new webOS hardware?

The answer to that is yes but what I can’t tell you is whether that will be in 2012 or not. But we will use webOS in new hardware, but it’s just going to take us a little longer to reorganize the team in a quite different direction than we’ve been taking it in the past.

Are we talking printers? Or tablets and phones?

In the near term what I would imagine – and this could change, in full disclosure – is I would think tablets, I do not believe we will be in the smartphone business again.

Here’s Whitman’s full letter to HP Employees:

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Meg Whitman Stories November 30, 2011

Meg Whitman, 55, a former eBay CEO and the president and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard since September 2011, hinted that anything is possible concerning the fate of webOS, including dropping the platform entirely and going with Google’s Android mobile operating system. Additionally, she also commented that Apple stands a chance of zooming past her company – which files as the world’s leading computer vendor – some time during next year, chiefly on the strength of the iPad 3 launch.

Hewlett-Packard happens to make printers that run Android which support Google’s Cloud Print. Therefore, it’s not terribly shocking that they’re questioning viability of the webOS platform. The company will reach a decision on webOS “soon”.

As you know, after HP indicated it might sell of webOS, that asset has remained in a state of turmoil, to say the least. Even though Whitman reassured fans of her company that the management is adamant to consider all available options, she did nod at Android as one of the choices being considered.

According to TechCrunch:

Interestingly enough, during the same interview, Whitman talked a bit about the future of webOS. She stated that a decision would be made in the next two weeks as there are currently 600 employees in ‘limbo’. The only hint about its future is that Whitman stated that HP needs two OSes but Android could replace webOS.

As for Apple beating HP to the PC punch, Whitman told French newspaper Le Figaro (machine translated):

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