HP planning another smartphone – one more crack at the Palm Pre plan?

HP CEO Meg Whitman has admitted that the company eventually plans to release another smartphone, despite having failed to make such a venture a success in the past. And it says the phone will not be based on the BlackBerry platform.

While talking to Fox Business News, Whitman said HP plans to “ultimately” produce a smartphone, pushing its plans into the mid- or long-term rather than the immediate future. Whitman also admitted that the company needs to “get it right” this time, an unavoidable admission that it has singularly failed to do so in its attempts to date.

HP purchased Palm back in 2010, a decision reportedly based on the WebOS smartphone operating system. The only phones that have used the system belong to the Pre and Pixie families, no member of which sold enough to reach above the level of “dismal failure”. The phones themselves weren’t too bad, in fact, but they arrived to the market late, well after the iPhone and Android devices were well-established, and neither Palm nor – later on – HP had the financial staying-power of a rival like Microsoft.

The company stopped support for the WebOS system in late 2011, but made the system open-source a few months later. It all begs the question – what will the HP phone end up like? It’s possible that it could run Windows Phone 8 or Android, but Whitman said that there were no plans to create a device that runs the upcoming BlackBerry OS 10.

HP’s stock value is not currently in a particularly healthy state – a solid reminder that most of its recent dynamic ventures, most notably the HP Touchpad, have been failures. At the time of writing, it’s valued at 18p a share, down from more than 50p a share at the company’s strongest periods during 2010.

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