As announced last Sunday, HP now has two new phablets running the Android operating system. As a result, seems to be back in the smartphone market after many years in the wilderness. However, HP itself does not refer to the new equipment as smartphones, but as a tablet with a voice function. With 6 and 7 inches, the devices are already being classified as phablets.
HP launches Slate6 and Slate7 VoiceTabs
It took a while, but now HP is back with the Slate6 and Slate7 VoiceTab. Ron Coughlin, President of the Consumer Personal Systems Group at HP says:
“Consumers are looking to consolidate their phones and tablets, which is propelling the voice tablet market. 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.”
The devices are equipped with quad core processors on which Google’s Android operating system is running. In addition to a dual-SIM feature they also offer 3G. As if that wasn’t enough, the phablets are provided with forward-facing speakers to enhance the audio playback when playing games or watching movies. Front and rear side additionally have cameras. Exact hardware details are not yet available.
Market launch of phablets on February 2014
The market launch of the two phablets still planned for February… but only in India. This is thought to be a much better way to achieve a growth market. Coughlin says:
“In India, we see a demand that we can meet,”
Even though, several providers are already active, competitive pressure is likely to be somewhat lower than it is in the U.S. or Europe.
In addition, the mobile operators in India play a different role, so that a sale without a contract is more common. Even more prepaid models are there in use, instead of contracts over several years. Coughlin seems to be extremely optimistic.