H-P (HPQ -0.5%) has decided to go off the beaten path in its efforts to make consumer inroads in a very competitive Android hardware landscape. The IT giant is launching two low-end devices - the Slate 6 phablet and Slate 7 voice-enabled tablet - in India later this year.
H-P exec Ron Coughlin: "We see a need in India that we can meet ... Consumers are looking for a way to consolidate devices." As a giant emerging market with relatively low PC and smartphone/tablet penetration rates, India offers H-P the chance to sell millions of consumers their primary (and perhaps first) computing device.
But there's plenty of competition from Asian OEMs offering 7" Android tablets at price points often well below $150. H-P is counting on its existing brand power within India - the company had a 32% share of the local PC market in Q3, per IDC - to help its cause.
The company remains tight-lipped on when it plans to launch the Slate 6 and 7 in other markets. With H-P expected to post FY14 sales of $108B, the company's mobile hardware is unlikely to move the needle much in the near-term.
The Information previously reported the devices would sell for $200-$250 unsubsidized.