Hewlett Packard is in talks with all UK operators to range its webOS-powered Veer (pictured) and Pre 3 smartphones and its TouchPad tablet.
The computing giant said all the operators are showing keen interest in the three products, which are due to be launched this summer.
The devices are the first to come out of HP since it took over handset manufacturer and webOS developer Palm nine months ago.
Speaking to Mobile, Manuel Linnig, HP’s communications manager, said: ‘The feedback from all the operators has been very positive. They are showing a lot of interest and we are also talking to all the major retailers.’
Linnig said the webOS platform is a strong selling point: ‘We offer an alternative to what exists. If you are a consumer, you have hundreds of Android phones that look the same, how do you differentiate? We stand out.’
Linnig said HP is also confident its connectivity strategy will drive sales, pointing to HP’s Touch and Share application, which allows users to gain online access with an HP Pre 3 smartphone paired to an HP TouchPad tablet, as an example.
He said: ‘Connectivity is the very core of our business. We definitely see the market moving that way. The idea that there will be one device to replace all is proving not to be the case. People want a multiplicity of devices and that is where connectivity comes in.’
HP is also planning to put webOS as an app or browser on Windows PCs later this year, which Linnig says will give its smartphones and tablet added momentum and attract developers.
‘That will change the ball game. We supply 60 million Windows PCs a year. Suddenly you are looking at long-term potential. For developers, that is important – they will be able to develop for a whole ecosystem.’
HP is keen to court developers. It is currently looking for technical staff for its applications department at its Basingstoke UK headquarters to work with developers, and it is on a developer recruitment drive with plans to run a number of developer workshops over the coming months.
HP is planning to raise the number of webOS apps from 7,000 to 30,000 by the end of the year, but Linnig said it is quality rather than quantity that HP is aiming to achieve.
‘We could play the numbers game but as only 20% of apps are used, we want to deliver the top 50 in every country.’
Linnig said HP’s size and the strength of the webOS brand will give it the reach needed to achieve this.
‘When we acquired Palm we did so for the webOS platform and the intellectual property behind it. At the same time we bring the critical mass to the table with our ability to reach outside the US with our infrastructure, distribution channels, support systems and people.’