Three years after HP pulled the plug on its WebOS-powered smartphone line, the PC giant is back in the game with two new devices launching today in India.
While no press release has come our way yet, HP has talked to Re/code about its smartphone comeback and explained why it chose India for the launch.
At 6-inch and 7-inch respectively, the Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab are straddling the thin line that separates phones from tablets. HP is hoping to capture the attention of customers looking for all-in-one devices, a category that’s growing steadily in emerging markets like India. In fact, the Slate 7 VoiceTab appears to be a cell-enabled version of the Slate 7, a cheap tablet that HP announced at MWC 2013 and shipped last summer.
On the specs front, the Slate 6 features an IPS LCD display of 1,280 x 720 resolution, while the Slate 7 VoiceTab features a 1,280 x 800 display. Besides this difference, the specs seem largely similar: a quad-core processor of an unspecified brand, 16GB of internal storage with an expansion slot, front-facing stereo speakers, five megapixels cameras on the rear, and two megapixels on the front. The devices will be running Android 4.2 with some modifications from HP.
HP has not revealed the price of the new Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab, but judging from the spec sheets and the target customers, they should be quite accessible. The devices will become available from February in India, but HP has refused to provide more details on their eventual international availability.
“I won’t say where or when, but you can expect us to do more in the coming months,” an HP rep told Re/code. “We’ll be talking about this in a more expansive way. But right now we’re focused on a successful launch in India.” The PC making giant has presented the devices to retailers last week at CES, and has supposedly received a “very positive response”, which seems to suggest that an entry in the North American market is just a question of time.
We’ll update this post with more details once HP makes the Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab official.