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Could HP rejoin Microsoft in 2013? Maybe.

Yesterday, Fox Business has a recent interview with HP CEO Meg Whitman where all aspects of the business were discussed. HP has had a very interesting history these last 10 years and while we don’t want to focus on the changes, it’s on again/off again foray into smartphones is highly relevant.

To that issue, Whitman was asked directly "So a smartphone is not if, but when, for Hewlett-Packard?" to which Whitman replied:

"[HP will] have to ultimately offer a smartphone, because in many countries in the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We're a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor."

That’s a smart analysis of the mobile industry but also a tough problem to solve.

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We took a look at the ZTE Tania last week at CES 2012 and came away quite impressed. Sure, the specs are no match for the US market but their design was actually much better than LG, Toshiba and Acer and that says something. (And we really think LG just needs to move on already).

The Tania has a wimpy 4GB of storage and a decent 5MP camera with a 4.3" screen. We argued if ZTE upped the specs to something more competitive, this design could win some hearts here in the States (and Europe).

Now we're getting word that ZTE will be trying to enter the US the market with either an Android or Windows Phone (or both), including 4G LTE bands. In a Reuters interview Lv Qianhao, head of handset strategy for ZTE stated that "The United States and China will be key engines driving our smartphone sales". Of course saying that and doing it are two different things as working with carriers is notoriously tricky here in the States and ZTE has had very little sway here so far.

The "fourth-largest mobile phone maker by shipments" has lofty ambitions, including moving into the high-end market. But with the likes of Nokia, Samsung and HTC it looks to be tight. Still, we like the Tania and think ZTE may offer a thing or two, but they will certainly need to do more than equal the competition--they'll need to surpass it. That requires innovation and the ability to 'wow' and we're still waiting for that.

Check our hands on with the ZTE Tania at CES 2012 after the break...

Source: Reuters

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