HP to launch two tablets by year-end

Michael Carroll
24 Aug 2010

Hewlett Packard will launch two tablet PCs in a matter of months, after admitting sales of laptop PCs have been hit by the increasingly-popular format.

The firm plans to launch a business-focused tablet running Microsoft’s Windows 7 by end-2010, and will follow up with a consumer device running Palm’s WebOS in 2011, according to Todd Bradley, head of the firm’s personal systems division.

Bradley believes WebOS - acquired when HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion in April - is a better fit for consumer devices, The Telegraph reported.

He revealed the plan in a conference call to discuss fiscal 3Q10 results – covering the period to end-July, the firm’s first earnings call since CEO Mark Hurd quit earlier this month over an expenses scandal.

Despite the admission about tablets, the firm posted a 12% increase in PC shipments during the quarter, resulting in a 17% rise in revenues to $9.9 billion. This boosted the division’s profits from to $469 million from $387 million in 2009.

Group profits were up 15% to $2.6 billion as revenues grew 11% to $30.7 billion, and the firm predicts it will grow revenues to between $32.5 billion and $32.7 billion in fiscal 4Q10.

Cathie Lesjak, CFO and acting CEO, appeared to back Hurd when she said the 3Q results “demonstrates the power of our strategy and the discipline of our execution.”

HP executives tasked with replacing the CEO have yet to decide on a suitable candidate, FT.com reported citing a source close to the decision makers.

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