- Associated Press - Thursday, August 18, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Hewlett-Packard plans to spin off its personal computer division into a separate business, according to news reports.

The decision, according to unnamed sources cited in reports by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, would isolate a division that is HP’s biggest generator of revenue but is its least profitable.

It marks a reversal from HP’s previous stance, in March, when the company called reports that it might sell its PC business “irresponsible reporting”.

The PC industry is under pressure from hot-selling smartphones and tablet computers, which have contributed to already weak consumer demand for PCs in the U.S. and Europe. HP may announce the move as early as Thursday afternoon, when it reports quarterly financial results.

An HP spokesman did not return a call from The Associated Press.

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