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HP TouchPad rear

It's been a while since we've seen a new smartphone from HP hit the market, but if a new rumor is to be believed, that'll be changing in the very near future. According to sources speaking to The Information, HP is planning to introduce several "phablet"-style devices in the coming weeks. The products are said to include 6 and 7-inch displays and support for making voice calls over a cellular network. The rest of the specs of these phone/tablet hybrids are still a mystery, but they're expected to be low-cost devices that are targeted at emerging markets and cost $200 to $250 without a contract.

The phablet product category has grown quite a bit in the past couple of years, and now the large devices make up an equally large chunk of the Android ecosystem and have even started to infiltrate the BlackBerry and Windows Phone camps. While the details on these upcoming HP phablets are still pretty light, it's interesting to hear that Meg Whitman and Co. may soon reenter the smartphone arena. The move isn't a total shock if you think about it, though: Not only did HP return to mobile earlier this year with its Android-powered Slate 7 tablet, CEO Meg Whitman previously said that HP ultimately needs to offer a smartphone, and another HP exec recently teased that the company is prepping a phone that'll offer a "differentiated experience." 

What do you think of phablet-style hardware? Would you carry a 6 to 7-inch device that includes the ability to make voice calls?

Via GigaOM, The Information


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