Fresh off Google’s announcement that it will launch a Textbook section in its Play store, a new report claims HP is planning a low-cost tablet to target the back-to-school crowd. According to Digitimes, HP and Walmart will partner to sell a $99 Android tablet in the coming weeks. The device is said to be equipped with a 7-inch display and a single-core Intel Medfield processor. HP will be the first major vendor to release a sub-$100 tablet, which some industry insiders believe could pressure other companies to follow suit. The low-end specs, however, will make HP’s new tablet a harder sell than devices like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire. Google on Wednesday announced that it has partnered with the five largest textbook publishers — Cengage, Wiley, Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Macmillan – to allow customers to buy or rent discounted digital textbooks. The company’s new education hub will launch in August.
Leaked image, specs may reveal HP’s first Android smartphone, which looks just like an iPhone [updated]
Hewlett-Packard executive Su-yin Yam recently insisted HP is working on a new smartphone that will offer truly compelling differentiation compared to the current crop of devices on the market. Yam didn’t give any indication as to when such a device might launch, however, and CEO Meg Whitman noted late last year that HP likely won’t debut a smartphone in 2013. A new image published by PhoneArena supposedly reveals a new Android smartphone in the works at HP, however, suggesting that a device might launch sooner than we thought. Not much can be gleaned from the leaked image beyond what looks to be stock Android and a design that looks suspiciously like an iPhone 5, but a subsequent post from the blog claims to reveal the device’s specs. More →
The mobile market is brutally competitive but that isn’t stopping HP from insisting that it will release its own smartphone sometime in the future. Business Insider reports that Su-yin Yam, the senior director of HP’s consumer business in the Asia-Pacific region, said this weekend that HP is biding its time and waiting for the perfect moment to strike with a smartphone that truly differentiates the company from its competitors. Yam claimed that HP is studying all the current offerings in the smartphone market and is trying to figure out what it can offer that other vendors don’t. And while Yam wouldn’t commit to giving a timetable to launch, she did say that HP “has to be in the game” in the smartphone market so it seems that an HP smartphone is a matter of “when” more than “if.”
Microsoft released its Windows 8.1 preview to the public on Wednesday and it remains to be seen how users will respond. As it turns out, however, the PC industry may be poised to slow its current slide regardless of whether or not Microsoft’s big software update manages to drum up some excitement. According to unnamed industry sources speaking with Digitimes, PC chip suppliers are expected to see shipments pick up in the third quarter as vendors prepare to launch new notebook computers powered by Intel’s Haswell chipsets. The report claims PC makers are expecting sales to improve in the U.S. and China beginning in the third quarter, and component suppliers including Richtek Technology, Global Mixed-mode Technology, Elan Microelectronics and Egalax-empia Technology will begin to see revenue increase significantly beginning this month as orders ramp up.
In effort to reverse eroding PC sales, HP on Monday announced a new 21.5-inch Android tablet that will be marketed as an all-in-one desktop. The Slate 21 AIO is equipped with a full HD IPS display, a quad-core Tegra 4 processor and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The device is compatible with a mouse and keyboard, and also includes a kickstand that allows it to be propped up at a 30-degree angle. The Slate 21 AIO will be available in September starting at $399. HP’s press release follows below. More →
Microsoft Office is by far the most comprehensive suite of productivity services around, but what if you own a small business with bare-bones requirements for word processing and spread sheets? AllThingsD reports that HP is teaming up with Google to promote Google Apps as a free alternative for companies that don’t want to pay Microsoft fees to use Office. HP “will package [Google’s] management tools with its PCs, printers and other IT gear” while helping companies ease into using Google Apps with an assist from its own management software, AllThingsD says. The move toward Google Apps comes at a time when HP has been inching away from Microsoft a bit, as this year the company has launched new devices based on Google’s Chrome and Android operating systems.
When former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein signed off on selling his company to HP for $1.2 billion, little did he realize he was giving it the kiss of death. In an interview with FierceWireless, Rubinstein now says that he’d do things differently if given another chance, and he described HP’s acquisition of Palm as “a waste.” In particular, Rubinstein regrets that HP shut down Palm’s webOS operating system despite the fact that other companies are still mimicking its innovative multitasking system. More →
HP could certainly use a lucky break and the company thinks it may just get one as soon as Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP next year. Computerworld reports that HP executives are banking heavily on the demise of Windows XP to revive their fortunes and have even come up with a catchy slogan to describe the opportunity: “Goodbye XP, Hello HP.” Enrique Lore, the senior vice president and general manager of HP’s business PCs, said during a press conference this week that HP sees the end of XP as “a big opportunity” while adding that consumers looking to replace their XP-based machines would deliver a “significantly” bigger boost to flagging PC sales than Windows 8 ever would. Lore also said that HP hoped to differentiate itself from the PC pack by building products that “are cool.”
HP on Wednesday announced the Android-powered SlateBook x2 and the Windows-powered Split x2. The SlateBook x2 is equipped with a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200-pixel display and a new 1.8GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor. The tablet also features 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal storage, a rear-camera capable of 1080p video recording, an SD card slot, HDMI-out, a USB port and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. More →
A recent report suggested Windows 8 may have hurt the declining global PC market rather than helped it, and new inside data points to a continued negative trend in April. According to Digitimes’ research arm, the top-5 PC vendors in the world saw their notebook shipments plummet a combined 20% sequentially in March. The site thinks overall shipments will likely fall yet again in the second quarter as a result, and Q2 shipments could be down 15% year-over-year. HP, Acer and Lenovo saw the worst April shipment plunges according to Digitimes and excess inventory is reportedly building as vendors ready their next-generation laptop models.
In the wake of grim PC sales, HP may be preparing to release a high-end Android tablet in the coming months. A listing on the AnTuTu benchmark network, per TabTech, revealed a new tablet known as the HP SlateBook 10 X2. The slate is equipped with a 10.1-inch display, a new quad-core Tegra 4 processor clocked at 1.8GHz and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. HP recently entered the Android tablet market with the mid-range Slate 7 that’s selling for only $169.99. The affordable tablet is equipped with a 7-inch 1024 x 600 pixel resolution display, a 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, Beats Audio, a microSD card and a 3-megapixel rear camera.
Things haven’t been going well for PC vendors as of late with sales recently experiencing their steepest decline ever in a single quarter. HP is just one of the many companies that is looking for unique ways to boost its deteriorating computer sales. The company announced this week that it has partnered with Leap Motion to bundle its 3D motion control sensor and Airspace App Store with specific HP desktop and laptop products. In the future, HP plans to embed Leap’s technology directly into some of its computers. BGR was left impressed after we tested Leap’s motion control sensor last July, calling the technology “a total game-changer” and “one of the coolest pieces of technology we’ve seen in a while.” The Leap Motion standalone sensor is slated to arrive at Best Buy stores on May 19th for $80. HP’s press release follows below. More →
Despite ill omens, the IDC report about PC volume decline hitting -14% in the first quarter shows once again how much trouble the tech industry is having when it comes to dealing with the ongoing computer meltdown. As I wrote last December, IDC has been completely out to lunch about this key trend for years. In March of 2012, IDC was still expecting “desktop and laptop sales to take off in the second half of 2012.” Last December, IDC cheerfully predicted 1.2% growth in computer sales between 2012 and 2016. Of course, the PC industry is tucking into a majestic swan dive that makes those projections downright surreal. How can one of the most respected research firms in the computer sector be so disconnected from reality? The answer is simple: Analysts from largest research firms simply aren’t allowed to call major turning points. More →