San Jose (CA) – HP launched two new cell phones this week, the latest move for the company as it expands beyond traditional computing equipment.
The new phones, aimed at business customers, are looked at as a knee jerk reaction to the recent flux of ultra powerful cell phones that incorporate more computer-like features than ever before.
The iPaq 600 Series Business Navigator contains all of the iPaq’s main features, like pre-loaded entertainment and business applications. Additionally, it carries a focus on GPS functionality. It comes pre-installed with a selection of 3D maps and a full GPS receiver.
Also announced is the iPaq 900 Series Business Messenger, which contains a full keyboard. Both devices are reportedly designed to actually look like cell phones intead of PDAs with cell phone functionality.
The iPaq brand has continuously been one of the most recognizable among PDA enthusiasts, but HP has been timid about transforming these devices into full-fledged smartphones. Previously, the company’s selection of iPaq phones was dwarfed by models that did not carry mobile service. With the success of other all-in-one devices like Apple’s iPhone and Palm’s Treo, HP is getting more serious about the mobile phone space.
HP, though known almost exclusively for computers and printers, has expanded to other consumer electronic segments like HDTV, networking and mobile phones.
According to IDC, although HP was the #1 seller of computers and ranked #2 in PDAs, last year it accounted for less than 1% of all smartphone sales.