Will the TouchPad ride again? HP apparently just internally announced a new division focused on mobile within the Personal Systems Group. This new team, named in HP’s traditional jargon, Mobility Global Business Unit, is essentially responsible for getting HP back in the tablet fight.
Details are still a bit light. This word comes from a leaked memo obtained by the The Verge. The memo says in part, “With this move, we are building on our commitment to re-invest in mobility via dedicated leadership, focused research and development, amazing new products and a growing suite of applications and services.” It sounds like HP is finally getting serious about tablets.
Once upon a time, HP simply purchased Palm to lead the company into the mobile arena. But that $1.2 billion purchase didn’t work out in terms of hardware. After initially committing to double down on webOS, the company launched the HP TouchPad, a quality tablet that never had a chance thanks to its high price and lack of developer support. However, with the purchase of Palm, HP acquired 1,500 of Palms patents — it’s likely HP is ready to build upon the foundation laid by Palm.
This new unit will initially focus on consumer tablets, but will eventually grow and expand into new categories and segments (smartphones?), says the memo. The group is under the PSG, which is headed by Toddy Bradley. However, HP turned to Alberto Torres, ex-executive vice president of Nokia, to lead this new unit. Torres previously led Nokia’s MeeGo effort. Torres is also currently the vice-chairman of Bang & Olufsen, a high-end audio company that prides itself on forward-thinking designs. And HP needs all the design help it can get.
HP also currently has a tablet nearing release. The memo notes that tablet, along with the existing notebook teams, will in the PC unit and under the leadership of James Mouton. Or, put a different way, the good tablets will come later.
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