HP CEO Meg Whitman famously stated that 2013 was a rebuilding year for HP and that the company's new products and services would "kick in big-time" in 2014. We've heard various members of the company claim that a new smartphone is in the works, and it looks like we're seeing the fruits of that labor today—in India.
Re/code reports that HP is launching six- and seven-inch "voice-enabled tablets" (previously known as "phones") called the Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab. The devices will run Android 4.2 and have a quad core processor of unspecified make and model. Both devices have IPS displays, front-facing stereo speakers, 2MP front and 5MP rear cameras, 16GB of internal storage, and microSD support. The Slate 7 has slightly more pixels than the Slate 6: 1280×800 vs. 1280×720, and the 7-inch version is half-a-millimeter thicker at 9.5 mm.
Why India? HP products are fairly popular in India—it's the country's top PC brand—and HP says it likes the idea of entering a "growing market." Indian wireless carriers also aren't as involved in hardware sales as they are in the US, which saves HP the trouble of having to deal with companies like AT&T and Verizon. While HP hasn't announced a price yet, devices in the Indian market are usually bought off contract, so HP will have to keep the price down. Hopefully this go-around will be better than HP's last experience with smartphones, which involved buying and then killing Palm and WebOS for $1.2 billion.
The new devices should be available sometime in February.