HP clearly didn’t get the memo that Windows Phone is dead. Meet HP’s first flagship smartphone since the Palm Pre 3. HP calls Elite x3 a “revolutionary mobile platform” but it’s not. It’s just another also-ran from HP.
HP says a device like the Elite x3 has never been done before and that’s clearly wrong. Android and Motorola tried it with Atrix. Palm nearly tried it with the Palm Folio until Engadget talked the company down. And there have been countless startups who have released various solutions to allow an owner to run a desktop experience from a smartphone. All failed like HP’s recent mobile ventures spanning back to Palm smartphones.
The HP Elite x3 is a flagship device for a key new Windows Phone feature called Continuum. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor gives the device enough juice to plug into a monitor and power a desktop experience. The sales pitch is not new: Continuum will allow users to ditch their laptop and phone and tablet and use just this one device.
But the Elite x3 runs Windows Phone and plenty of data suggests Windows Phone is quickly fading to irrelevance.
An industry report published earlier last week pegs Windows Phone with only a 1.1 percent worldwide market share in the fourth quarter of 2015. That’s down from 2.2 percent from 2014 levels. Worse yet, Microsoft’s Windows Phone shipments dropped 57 percent in the most recent quarter over the previous year. The company only sold 4.5 million Lumia devices compared to 10.5 million from the same time last year.
Essentially, HP built and announced its first modern smartphone on a platform that most indicators say is dying.
There’s still time for HP to change its mind. The company isn’t announcing the price at this time and says the Elite x3 will be released this summer — it wouldn’t be surprising if the device is shelved prior to the release.