HP to reenter consumer tablet market with Android device

HP is planning a comeback in the tablet market, but it’s not bringing Palm’s WebOS back from the dead. Instead, the company is reportedly getting ready to launch a tablet based on Google’s Android OS this year, and a companion smartphone at some point next year.

The HP Android tablet has been in the works since before Thanksgiving, according to a ReadWrite report that is based on anonymous sources, and will feature Nvidia’s new Tegra 4 chip. HP might give a glimpse of the tablet at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month, but the tablet is not expected to ship until the second half of the year, when tablets from Toshiba and Vizio running on Tegra 4 are also set to hit the market.

HP exited the consumer tablet market in 2011, when it decided to kill the HP TouchPad tablet based on WebOS, the operating system acquired when it bought Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010. WebOS was praised for its ease of use and user interface, but the TouchPad was a sales flop and HP decided to discontinue it, along with its range of WebOS smartphones and make the platform open source.

HP is currently selling a Windows 8 Pro tablet, the ElitePad 900, aimed at businesses and government workers. An Android tablet from HP would not only go head-to-head (again) with Apple’s market-leading iPad, but also with established Android manufacturers such as Samsung, Asus and Lenovo.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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