HP's Whitman vows to get back into smartphone business

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman said the computer maker will ultimately get back into the smartphone business, but she did not give a specific timeframe for when it would do so.

Click here to watch Whitman discuss the company's smartphone plans.

In an interview with Fox Business, Whitman said that the company needs to "ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that would be your first computing device. We are a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor."

That strategy is a reversal for HP, which shut down its webOS device business (which included smartphones and tablets) just a year ago. "We are working on this," Whitman said, who took the helm at HP nearly a year ago. "We did take a detour into smartphones and we have to get it right this time. My mantra to the team is 'better right than faster than we should be there.' So we're working to make sure that when we do this it will be right thing for Hewlett-Packard and we will be successful."

Whitman declined to say when HP will unveil a new smartphone. HP discontinued sales of its webOS-powered TouchPad tablet (as well as its smartphone business) in August 2011, and the company went through a period of internal turmoil. Leo Apotheker was ousted as CEO and Whitman, a former eBay CEO, was brought into replace him. After months of speculation over what it would do with webOS, HP said in December 2011 it would keep webOS but make the operating system open source, allowing developers and others to modify and expand on the platform. Since then, former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein, who helped spearhead webOS, left HP, along with much of the company's former webOS staff.

For more:
- see this Fox Business News video
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article
- see this The Verge article

Related Articles:
HP releases open-source webOS beta to developers
Former Palm chief Rubinstein leaves HP
HP to make webOS open source, plans webOS tablets in 2013
HP writes down nearly $1.7B in losses on Palm investment

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