Hewlett-Packard: Smartphone Central?

Spiffier handhelds may supply the kick its bread-and-butter products can't give. HP will need new tricks to match the BlackBerry and iPhone

One of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) new smartphones sports a feature that will be familiar to most music lovers: a raised navigation wheel where you slide your finger to control the device. Demonstrating the iPAQ 600 Business Navigator, Dave Rothschild, head of HP's handheld-products business, describes the wheel as "an iPod-like feature." It makes sense to include it, he notes, because with the success of Apple's (AAPL) music player, "it's a feature that people understand."

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