Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) Fights the Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone… With the iPhone

Sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire. It then stands to reason that sometimes you gotta fight the iPhone… with the iPhone.

Investors already know that Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) is preparing to re-enter the smartphone market after sitting on the sidelines for a couple years trying to recover from the Palm debacle. Numerous executives, including CEO Meg Whitman, have acknowledged that HP has to launch a smartphone to stay relevant in the computing market.

Possible leaked render of HP smartphone. Source: phoneArena.

Some 3-D renderings leaked to phoneArena last night, showing a purported Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) smartphone in the works. It’s a crude mockup of questionable authenticity submitted by an anonymous tipster, but the device shown looks nearly identical to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s iPhone and has some interesting strategic implications.

Hewlett-Packard CompanyOf course, the biggest difference is the operating system. Considering Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s growing partnership with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), it seems inevitably that the company will launch an Android phone. The leaked image shows a stock version of Android, which is in line with HP’s recent strategy. The company has released several new Android devices mostly devoid of modification, although it adds a few tweaks of its own.

Earlier this morning, phoneArena followed up with a subsequent post with more information on the device, adding some possible credibility. The device may carry a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 1,600 x 900, while packing a top-of-the-line QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon 800 inside. The camera specs also look high-end with a 14.5-megapixel primary camera and 5-megapixel front-facing shooter for high-res selfies. Investors also now have a code name to consider, the Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) Brave, as well as an Android version, 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Those are respectable specs that Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) may be packing in, which would be a stark contrast to its Slate 7 Android tablet. The Slate 7 is as low-end as it gets, with a low-resolution display and generic applications processor. The device launched at $169 but has subsequently been dropped to $140 amid tablet price-cut season.

No pricing information was leaked. While the Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) Brave appears to have high-end specs, the PC maker might not try to target the high end of the market, where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung dominate. Instead, the company would have a better chance at targeting the mid-range with high-end specs and offer greater value.

However, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may also be about to move into that market segment in a big way with a mid-range iPhone. Can Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s iPhone beat Apple’s iPhone? Probably not.

The article HP Fights the iPhone… With the iPhone originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Evan Niu, CFA.

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Qualcomm.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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