updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue May 5, 2009
Ex Palm Man Helps HP Phone
HP may be attempting to spark new life into its slumping smartphone business based on a recent hire. The LinkedIn profile for former Palm senior director Jonathan Oakes reveals that the executive has jumped to HP's Emerging Businesses Unit, which centers on the company's iPAQ smartphones as well as its general mobile business and custom PC software. Oakes doesn't specify what the role involves other than creating "new products and business models."
HP has also declined to comment.
While few details have surfaced at all regarding HP's future plans, the recruitment points to new interest in the company's previously low-key product line. In North America, HP only offers the iPAQ 910, a conventional QWERTY phone with Windows Mobile. Europe has more modern devices but itself is limited to the iPAQ Data Messenger, a full touchscreen device, and the BlackBerry Pearl-style iPAQ Voice Messenger.
Rumors have nonetheless circulated that HP may look to Google's Android for a netbook and thus that the OS may also show on a future smartphone. More officially, HP recently joined the Symbian Foundation but has said only that it was there to improve the management of Symbian phones on corporate networks, with no mention of its own devices. [via Alley Insider]