HP Fights the iPhone... With the iPhone

Sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire. It then stands to reason that sometimes you gotta fight the iPhone... with the iPhone.

Investors already know that Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) is preparing to re-enter the smartphone market after sitting on the sidelines for a couple years trying to recover from the Palm debacle. Numerous executives, including CEO Meg Whitman, have acknowledged that HP has to launch a smartphone to stay relevant in the computing market.

Possible leaked render of HP smartphone. Source: phoneArena.

Some 3-D renderings leaked to phoneArena last night, showing a purported HP smartphone in the works. It's a crude mockup of questionable authenticity submitted by an anonymous tipster, but the device shown looks nearly identical to Apple's iPhone and has some interesting strategic implications.

Of course, the biggest difference is the operating system. Considering HP's growing partnership with Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) , it seems inevitably that the company will launch an Android phone. The leaked image shows a stock version of Android, which is in line with HP's recent strategy. The company has released several new Android devices mostly devoid of modification, although it adds a few tweaks of its own.

Earlier this morning, phoneArena followed up with a subsequent post with more information on the device, adding some possible credibility. The device may carry a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 1,600 x 900, while packing a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 inside. The camera specs also look high-end with a 14.5-megapixel primary camera and 5-megapixel front-facing shooter for high-res selfies. Investors also now have a code name to consider, the HP Brave, as well as an Android version, 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Those are respectable specs that HP may be packing in, which would be a stark contrast to its Slate 7 Android tablet. The Slate 7 is as low-end as it gets, with a low-resolution display and generic applications processor. The device launched at $169 but has subsequently been dropped to $140 amid tablet price-cut season.

No pricing information was leaked. While the HP Brave appears to have high-end specs, the PC maker might not try to target the high end of the market, where Apple and Samsung dominate. Instead, the company would have a better chance at targeting the mid-range with high-end specs and offer greater value.

However, Apple may also be about to move into that market segment in a big way with a mid-range iPhone. Can HP's iPhone beat Apple's iPhone? Probably not.

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Editor's note: Hewlett-Packard has denied the phone in question is an HP prototype. 

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  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 6:55 PM, GaryDMN wrote:

    The market is becoming bi-polar as users choose Android or iOS. Each has it's own ecosystem and users will choose one or the other. HP will need to compete with a growing number of Android phones, that will all be competing for the Android market, with little or no differentiation. Apple meanwhile is growing their loyal customer base.

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 7:26 PM, legacys7 wrote:

    H.P. screwed themselves. They gave up on an excellent mobile device. I own the "Touch Pad." It's functionality beats both Android and Apple. And it's older than the current two. I can't say much about Windows * because I never used it. Had H.P. stayed in there with webOS, they'd have a winner. Apps take time and in time, they would have tons of them right now. I'm also disappointed that they've abandoned the old mobile units that isn't supported on the opensource webOS.

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 7:49 PM, mylove4life455 wrote:

    GaryDMN ... you mean crapple is loosing the fanbase... the numbers are going down as people see their are much better phones... WP8 is better

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 10:35 PM, giuseppe1149 wrote:

    According to an article in Business Insider by Julie Bort,

    ""This is not an HP phone," an HP spokesperson told us. “The photo is a fabrication; it is not a photo of anything HP has in the works. Someone is making stuff up."

    Is there something that you don't understand about that comment from HP? Why put forth what appears to be patently false and try to make a story out of it. C'mon Evan, how can anyone take what you say seriously?

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 11:10 PM, normgarry wrote:

    I never would have purchased a Touchpad if not for their liquidation. I bought a bunch of em on credit card and then sold them on Ebay at a profit.

    HP's mistake was having an IDIOT for a CEO (Fiorina) who tried to sell off all their assets. Not standing behind a product is something HP is really good for. I used to have a Jornada 525 and was waiting for the 928 which woulda been like a crude "iphone" had it made it to America.

    Anyway - HP CAN'T COMPETE with APPLE. Apple's ecosystem is stronger than Android's and right no, Samsung runs the Android smartphone market with a coherency across their Galaxy line taken from Apple's playbooks and backed by serious advertising. The Galaxy S3 is the best smartphone on the Android market (better than the S4).

    This is a waste of time and money because they suck at execution.

    I'd like to see an HP smartphone that can dock with an HP computer to sync - or share stuff directly to the computer via Cloud computing, but HP just doesn't have the drive to do it anymore.

    If I were their CEO, I'd be focusing on more rugged, Affordable All-in-One PC to get into homes and schools.

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