HP is gearing up to launch a smartphone later this year, the company's general manager of mobile computing Ted Clark revealed today.
The vendor refused to give any details about the hardware configuration or the software platform, but industry analysts predict that the firm will stick to its traditional reliance on Windows for its mobile devices.
The phone will be an extension of the existing line of iPaq PDAs, according to Clark. "It will be targeted more at business customers than at consumers," he said.
"We will develop the expertise we have in the handheld space, and shrink it down and see what we can do to deliver something in the [smartphone] category."
HP currently sells an iPaq with mobile phone functionality built in, but the device is a PDA/phone hybrid, not a fully fledged smartphone.
Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, has been shown early models of the device. "This is a product that will knock the market on its ear," he told vnunet.com.
Enderle expects the HP phone to be the first successfully to merge the capabilities of a mobile phone and PDA in a single device.
Although the analyst predicted that the HP device will give the market leaders a run for their money, the release is also likely to refresh the market for enterprise smartphones. "It could open up the segment," he said.
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