According to a report from DigiTimes, both Dell and HP have made efforts to obtain information regarding the manufacture of smartphones. HP appears more serious though, generating many official requests for quotation.
From the report:
Hewlett-Packard (HP) recently asked for smartphone price quotes from several Taiwanese contract manufacturers, according to sources. The companies are said to have included High Tech Computer (HTC), Compal Electronics, MiTAC International, Asustek Computer, Inventec Appliances and Quanta Computer.
Asustek, Inventec and Quanta have not showcased any smartphones publicly but are developing products, sources said.
Having sent requests for quotation (RFQs), HP is thought to be more committed to foraying into the smartphone business than Dell Computer, which has recently made less formal inquiries, sources said.
It is unclear when HP would launch a smartphone or which Taiwanese makers would take its orders, which likely would carry thin profit margins. HTC, which derives more than 50% of its revenues from HP, posted a 10.2% operating margin in 2002, according to its preliminary financial results.
Already, some companies said they would not take the order if their profits would suffer.
I may fall in the minority on this one, but I really don’t see a fit here for either company. If anything, Dell is better configured to sell devices of this nature through its web site and mall kiosks. Not that it can’t be done, but the effort it takes to set up carrier agreements and other logistical issues may outweigh the benefit. Perhaps I’m more negative because I don’t buy into Microsoft’s Smartphone 2002 OS in its current form. In the US anyway, I just don’t see these devices picking up that much market share. I think the concept is fun though, if not practical, so here’s to hoping I’m wrong!