Home / HP to launch iPaq smartphones

HP to launch iPaq smartphones

HP Personal Systems Group (PSG) EMEA will launch iPaq-branded slim smartphones, aimed at the mobile business market, this May. However these data-centric devices might not hit the Middle East for a few months yet, until the market for them has been assessed and any localisation issues taken care of.

HP Personal Systems Group (PSG) EMEA will launch iPaq-branded slim smartphones, aimed at the mobile business market, this May. However these data-centric devices might not hit the Middle East for a few months yet, until the market for them has been assessed and any localisation issues taken care of.

Speaking yesterday to Windows Middle East, the senior vice president of HP PSG EMEA, Eric Cador, explained: “The way we see it is, you’re going to see a range of iPAQs. Some people want a proper keyboard, others are fine with an SMS keyboard. Some want a large screen, some want small. So basically we’ll have a range of three iPaq form factors – focusing on mobile e-mail first and also doing phone as well.”

The new devices, which US press reports suggest are known as the iPAQ 500 series, will sit alongside current PDA form factor iPAQ handhelds and be based similarly upon Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system.

Explaining the reason behind the potential Middle East delay on these devices hitting the market, Cador added: “With new product categories, it’s not about time to market. It’s about knowing the market. We’re at a stage where we know that this product corresponds to a certain number of countries, but we don’t know yet if it’s the right product for the Middle East. So just before localizing and introducing it, we’re taking a bit of time to optimize our launch. We’re making these investigations. The day we say we know there’s a market and we know the go-to-market required to address those customers, we’ll be there.”

This move does not mean that HP PSG is entering the EMEA phone market as such, as according to Cador the company is and will remain very much a data-centric device vendor.

“Let me be very clear. We are in the data segment, focusing on mobile e-mail,” confirmed Cador. “We are not entering the voice-only phone market – this is not our objective. We’re targeting the mobile e-mail market, for which you need a very strong corporate presence.

Closely linked to this iPAQ line expansion, HP last month acquired a company called Bitfone, which provides a software environment with which to manage such devices over the air.

“With Bitfone integrated into the enterprise’s back-end, the idea would be that if you lose your smartphone the device can be shut down. The potentially confidential content could even be erased,” Cador said.

Follow us to get the most comprehensive technology news in UAE delivered fresh from our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and listen to our Weekly Podcast. Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter on curated technology news in the Middle East and Worldwide.

REGISTER NOW | Webinar Event | Security you can bank on – Safeguarding the Middle East’s financial sector

Presented in partnership with security and network specialist Cybereason, the second in the three part webinar series will bring together a panel of experts to discuss how banks and financial institutions are evolving their service offering while simultaneously staying one step ahead of the cyber criminals who seek to bring their operations crashing to the ground.

CHANNEL AWARD 2018