Rumor: HP to launch an Android tablet

It’s tough to stand out in the crowded Android phone and tablet space — which is why HP went a different route when it bought Palm a few years ago and started cranking out webOS phones and tablets. That didn’t end well.

More recently the company has put its efforts into Windows-based tablets like the HP Envy X2. But it seems HP may be planning to hedge its bets… by launching a line of Android products after all.

HP Envy X2

ReadWrite reports that HP will launch a high-end tablet with an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor this year. The news site says HP could also launch a smartphone running Android.

The move would allow HP to tap into the existing Android ecosystem by launching phones and tablets that are able to run hundreds of thousands of apps.

But HP will still face the challenge the company was trying to avoid when it invested in webOS and Windows tablets: There are hundreds of Android phones and tablets on the market. It’s tough to convince shoppers to spend their money on yours — especially if you decide to play in the “high-end” space. Some of the most popular Android tablets to date have been low-cost models like Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets which sell for half the price of an Apple iPad.

At this point, HP’s Android ambitions are still best classified as rumors. ReadWrite’s report is based on information from two anonymous sources who are “familiar with the matter.” But HP hasn’t publicly confirmed anything yet.

HP TouchPad with Android 4.1

Of course in some ways, HP already released an Android tablet. The HP TouchPad may have shipped with webOS, but hackers have been installing Android on the 9.7 inch tablet for ages. While HP doesn’t offer the TouchPad anymore, you can still pick up (mostly used or refurbished) models from eBay for under $200.

  • boonesimpson

    If HP leverages webOS features and patents, they could make a great launcher and add some needed variation to the android landscape.

    Maybe even dust off the VOODOO product line as android gaming tablets that are one part project shield, and one part razer project fiona.

    Heck HP could make a asus transformer like tablet and with a competent office suite, try to gain influence in the corporate sector. I can see this as an alternative to surface RT and surface pro, granted those aren’t big markets.

  • strider_mt2k

    I smell a rebrand coming…

  • anon

    HP should have had Android , webos, a long time ago. The Windows dedication drom HP has been a matter of the blind leading the blind.

  • Mike Avery

    If you buy HP, you deserve what you get. They change directions more often than a windsock in a tornado. They have, historically, made excellent hardware. Customers have 10 year old HP servers on site that are doing great. However, they dropped WebOS, they wanted to drop personal computers altogether. What sort of brain dead customer abandoning nonsense will they pull next?