HP splits handheld business to boost sales


HP splits handheld business to boost sales

Antony Savvas

Hewlett-Packard is splitting its handheld business away from the laptop business, in an attempt to become more focused and boost its sales in the flagging handheld market.

HP’s iPaq handhelds will now have their own business unit, which includes the new iPaq hw6900 series.

Dave Rothschild will lead the new business unit, reporting to Todd Bradley, executive vice-president of HP's personal systems group.

Before the split, Ted Clark had overseen the development of both notebooks and iPaqs in the mobility business unit. He will keep control of notebook development in the new organisation.

Four units now make up HP's Personal Systems Group: handhelds, notebooks, desktops and workstations.

HP inherited the iPaq platform as part of the Compaq acquisition.

At the time, sales in such personal digital assistants – or PDAs – were very healthy, but have since declined as users turned to smaller smart phones that combined a handheld computer with integrated phone capabilities.

HP's hw6500 series delivers both voice and data and competes with Palm’s popular Treo platform, among others.

HP is unveiling a new range of iPaqs at this week’s 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

These devices use Microsoft's new “push” e-mail software, which allows users to get their e-mails automatically without dialling up.

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