HP Working On Android Tablet: Reports

Tickers in this article: GOOG HPQ MSFT NVDA QCOM

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Hewlett Packard's(HPQ) reportedly hard at work creating a new Android tablet computer to call its own. This, according to the ReadWrite blog. There's even a rumor that HP might be planning an Android smartphone to follow.

The report, which has been backed up by The Verge, goes on to say that the new high-end tablet running on Google's(GOOG) Android OS could also be one of the first to run on Nvidia's(NVDA) next-generation Tegra 4 processor, announced at CES just one month ago. HP's last tablet, its (Palm) webOS TouchPad device, had a Qualcomm(QCOM) processor inside.

The new HP Android tablet has reportedly been in tests since Thanksgiving and insiders believe it will be officially announced in the next few weeks. There's been no official comment on any of this from HP.

None of this should come as a shock to the industry or consumers. HP has a long history of making mobile devices. For many years it produced a series of groundbreaking, early smartphones, called iPAQs, which ran on previous versions of Microsoft's(MSFT) original Windows Mobile operating systems (now called the Windows Phone 8 OS).

HP is also the owner of the remnants of Palm - and that means not only early Palm technology but the more recently-failed Palm Pre smartphones and TouchPad tablets which ran on the innovative webOS. Actually, that's not 100% accurate - some of the last TouchPad tablets to be shipped by HP reportedly had the Android OS installed.

As for a new HP smartphone, it might be a logical next step after producing an Android tablet. But HP CEO Meg Whitman recently said that her company had no plans to produce a smartphone this year.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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