HP confirms Slate VoiceTab to be launched in India
After stopping production of Palm devices in 2011, Hewlett-Packard has re-entered the burgeoning market by announcing on Wednesday that it was launching a line of “voice tablets,” or outsized smartphones, for consumers in India. The California firm said in a statement it would market a six-inch and seven-inch screen HP Slate VoiceTab, which use the Android operating system, “designed to help the next generation of mobile customers multitask on the go.”
The HP devices will have dual SIM card slots to allow their use as phones, and will have front and rear cameras.
HP did not disclose the pricing of the phablets but confirmed that the two devices are launching in India in February 2014 with no announcements for when and if these devices would head to Europe and the United States.
The move brings HP, which sells Slate tablets in the United States and elsewhere, into the growing market for “phablets,” which are devices which offer some features of both a smartphone and tablet.
Samsung, LG, Huawei and others are competing in phablets, which are generally considered smartphones with screens bigger than five inches, measured diagonally.
“Consumers are looking to consolidate their phones and tablets, which is propelling the voice tablet market,” said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president at 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.”
HP has been in a major restructuring under chief executive Meg Whitman, amid a severe slump in PC sales globally, as it has been losing ground amid a shift to mobile devices.
HP bought Palm in 2010 and was selling devices using the Palm webOS operating system, but ended production a year later. It sold the webOS system to LG in 2013.