The Indian Express has reported that when HP's Asia Pacific senior director of consumer PC and media tablets Yam Su Yin was asked if the company has a smartphone in the offing, she replied "The answer is yes but I cannot give a timetable. It would be silly if we say no. HP has to be in the game."
That makes some sense, as for a growing number of people around the world a smartphone is the first and perhaps the only internet-connected device they use.
She went on to say "Being late you have to create a different set of proposition. There are still things that can be done. It's not late. When HP has a smartphone, it will give a differentiated experience."
What seems more probable is that HP will use one of the major mobile OSes overlaid with some combination of its own apps, UI, or cloud services.
It's been a long time since Apple showed any inclination to licence its operating systems to other companies, so it seems safe to rule out iOS.
While Microsoft would like to see more Windows Phones being sold, the consistent UI seems to be one of its selling points. Furthermore, Microsoft seems keen to provide its own cloud infrastructure to Windows Phone users.
Android would seem to be an obvious choice, especially as Samsung has shown how well customers can react to an Android phone with extras delivered by the manufacturer.
But maybe that's too obvious - please read on.
So how's this for a 'roughie': BlackBerry OS 10 on an HP handset.
Here's my reasoning.
1. We know BlackBerry has its eyes on emerging markets. An expanded range of lower-cost handsets could help.
2. The BlackBerry brand doesn't seem to be as tarnished in EMEA and South Asia as it is in North American and the more affluent parts of Asia Pacific.
4. BlackBerry 10 and the new handsets haven't (yet?) led to the hoped-for turnaround for the company, so there may be pressure on BlackBerry executives to "do something - anything!"
5. HP wants to provide a "differentiated experience."
And if not BlackBerry 10, how about Firefox OS as an even more outside chance?