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HP aims to get back into the smartphone game

The company will try to compete with the likes of Apple and Android with a smartphone that will offer a "differentiated experience."

Now-defunct smartphones from HP.
Now-defunct smartphones from HP.

Hewlett-Packard plans to jump back into the smartphone business.

Yam Su Yin, HP's senior director for consumer PC and media tablets for Asia Pacific, told the Press Trust of India that the company will focus on all segments of the market, including tablets, notebooks, and all-in-one PCs, the Indian Express reported Sunday.

Asked specifically about a smartphone, Yin said: "The answer is yes, but I cannot give a timetable. It would be silly if we say no. HP has to be in the game."

HP attempted to carve a bigger slice of the mobile market after acquiring Palm in 2010. But the WebOS-based devices failed to catch on with consumers, prompting HP to eventually pull the plug on its new tablet and smartphones.

So, how will HP compete in a mobile industry even more dominated by Apple and Android than it was three years ago?

Yin was mum on any details but told Press Trust of India: "Being late you have to create a different set of proposition[s]. There are still things that can be done. Its not late. When HP has a smartphone, it will give a differentiated experience."

HP has previously tipped off plans to dive back into the smartphone arena. Last September, CEO Meg Whitman told the Fox Business Network that HP is "working on" bringing a new smartphone to the market.

"We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that would be your first computing device," Whitman said. "We are a computing company."

In a statement sent to CNET on Monday, an HP spokesperson also mentioned potential plans for an entry back into the smartphone market:

We see tablets and smartphones becoming critical computing platforms and enablers of new set of applications and solutions for customers spanning large enterprise, small business and consumers. In the short to medium term, we will remain focused on high powered computing devices such as workstations to mobile productivity tools such as tablets. In the long term, we will look at the right approaches to enter the smartphone market as well.

Updated 7:30 a.m. PT with statement from HP.