HP’s lack of a smartphone demo at Mobile World Congress has some industry observers concerned that the world’s largest PC maker is failing to use its influence and dominance in the personal computing space as leverage to gain customers in the smartphone space under the company’s iPAQ line, a brand that HP had inherited after it acquired Compaq and retired its in-house Jornada line. Once the crown jewel of the Windows Mobile space during the PDA days, the iPAQ brand has not gained much momentum as HP shifted its attention from stand-aone Windows Mobile PDAs to Windows phones. The company’s latest introduction, the iPAQ Glisten had failed to capture the hearts of users.
According to The New York Times, although the company states that it is committed to the smartphone space, sales of handhelds have declined some 80 percent over the last five years. Specifically, sales of handhelds–which includes iPAQs–have dropped to $25 million per quarter, down $57 million from the same quarter a year ago.
HP hasn’t made any comments so far about Windows Phone 7 Series thus far and at MWC, the company only debuted a smartbook–a netbook running the Android OS. The company’s CEO is saying that the company is still trying to figure out the right fit: âThere is clearly a gap that has opened up for a device that has north of a 3.5-inch screen and less than a 9-inch screen.â Whether that means that the handheld group at HP will be focusing on smartphones or tablets is still unclear. The company debuted the Slate, a Windows 7 tablet PC, with Microsoft at CES in broad anticipation of the Apple’s iPad announcement.
For now, whatever HP decides to do, experts are saying that it needs to act soon and swiftly.