updated 03:45 pm EST, Wed December 30, 2009
HP hints at major mobile push in filings
HP has filed for a pair of US trademarks that hint at a major return to handheld devices. One, for the term "Airlife," would apply to handheld computers, PDAs and phones as well as computers. The other, "Zeen," would apply to a handheld that can play images, sound and text as well as the software needed to do the same. Both trademarks were requested within five weeks of each other and, given differences, that the two are complementary rather than alternate names for each other or for existing products.
The trademarks are no guarantees of product development but imply a major return to home-oriented handheld devices at HP. It has lately resumed making pocketable devices like its Glisten smartphone but has almost exclusively targeted pro users with Windows Mobile; it has long abandoned the Companion line of handheld devices as competing media players and GPS units outpaced them in the market.
No rumors have surfaced of any HP unveilngs at CES, though any Airlife- or Zeen-branded products will have to compete against a slew of handheld mainstream devices from computer-making veterans, ranging from Apple's iPhone, iPod and possible tablet to imminent devices like the Dell Streak. [via New York Times]