Christmas comes early for cell-phone shoppers this year. According to a Wall Street Journal report out Friday, PC king Hewlett-Packard
The world is, after all, awash in smartphones. In addition to every second firm in Korea, we've got:
Research In Motion
(NASDAQ:RIMM)and its ubiquitous BlackBerry.
(NASDAQ:AAPL)with the cooler-than-thou iPhone.
- Smartphone leader Nokia
(NYSE:NOK)with a whole array of phones that are popular worldwide, which we've heard of, but rarely seen, here in the States.
- And a million other shops, mostly unmentioned and largely unnoticed (yeah, I'm talking to you, Motorola).
According to the Journal, HP's aim is to grow its mobile-device business outside the corporate realm, and try to hook more retail consumers. Jumping on the touchscreen bandwagon, the iPaq will boast a touchscreen pad, and run on Microsoft
But here's the thing. According to market researcher IDC, HP already sells cells. (Really? How did I not know that?) Apparently, HP has all of a 3.3% global market share in smartphones, and yet I've not heard hide nor hair of their existence. So maybe the announcement is good news -- clearly, HP needs to do something to alert cell-phone users to its existence.
But maybe not
On the other hand -- not to put too fine a point on this, but doesn't HP have its hands full already? I mean, sure, HP has thrashed Dell
In short, HP's got plenty of irons in the fire already, and plenty of work ahead of it. Sinking millions -- perhaps tens, hundreds, or thousands of millions -- of dollars into developing and marketing another "me-too" smartphone, that will no sooner launch than enter a bitter price war against every other cell-phone maker in the world, just doesn't make sense.