The rumours correctly called this one. Hewlett-Packard today announced its return to the smartphone market with two phablets designed for emerging markets. The company unveiled the HP Slate6 VoiceTab and HP Slate7 VoiceTab. The two are designed for consumers looking for a device that meets both their smartphone and tablet needs:
“Consumers are looking to consolidate their phones and tablets, which is propelling the voice tablet market,” said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president, Consumer Personal Systems Group, HP. “This is an exciting new category that represents a meaningful growth opportunity for HP. Our HP Slate VoiceTab provides consumers with a high-quality product at a great value.”
Full specifications for the new devices were not revealed but Coughlin gave Re/code some details. Both phablets will be powered by a quad-core processor and Google Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. They will also come with 16GB of internal storage, support for microSD cards up to 32GB, a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera. The HP Slate6 Voice Tab will come with a 6-inch HD (720×1280) display while the 7-inch one will have a WXGA (1280×800) display.
The HP Slate6 VoiceTab and HP Slate7 VoiceTab will launch in India in February. Pricing was not announced.
HP also today did not reveal if and when these new devices will be available in other markets. An immediate return to North America is unlikely but could happen if HP finds success in other markets first. Coughlin only said, “I won’t say where or when, but you can expect us to do more in the coming months.” It sounds like HP is just getting started.
Welcome back to smartphones, HP!