Hewlett-Packard (HP) has hired former Nokia executive Alberto Torres to head a new HP Mobility Global Business Unit, which is to focus initially on consumer tablets, according to an internal HP memo leaked via technology website The Verge on Friday.
The announcement comes a year after HP axed its webOS-based TouchPad, under then-chief executive Leo Apotheker.
Two weeks ago HP announced to employees a quasi-independent subsidiary called Gram created to exploit webOS, according to a report from webOS-oriented news website webOS Nation, which cited internal sources at HP. Gram will not itself produce hardware, however, according to the report. HP acquired webOS when it bought Palm for $1.2bn (£760m) in 2010.
The new HP Mobility unit, by contrast, will produce “mobility solutions” beginning with consumer tablets and expanding to include unspecified “additional segments and categories”, according to the HP memo. HP has not yet specified what operating system or systems these products might use.
Aside from hardware, HP said the unit’s activities will include research and development and applications and services.
The new unit will be exclusively focused on the consumer market segment – the company said its existing laptops and a planned business-oriented tablet will remain with its PC business unit for the time being. In July HP indicated it was planning a Windows 8 tablet running on x86 hardware, and other leaks have indicated possible specifications for a Windows 8 tablet.