Hewlett-Packard is introducing more than 100 new consumer gadgets on Monday, from digital cameras to photo-quality desktop printers, in anticipation of what could be a grinch-like holiday shopping season.

CEO Carly Fiorina and other senior executives are to unveil the devices at a New York gala that HP calls its largest product rollout ever. The focus is on photography, entertainment and home computing, including some new products and upgrades of HP’s popular printers and other favorites.

The launch party comes as the Palo Alto-based tech giant pushes a marketing campaign centered on simplicity. The goal is to persuade consumers that HP products are easy and fun — even for technophobes reluctant to dump their 35-milimeter cameras or part with their ancient ink-jet printers.

One product that exemplifies the new thrust, marketing vice president Chris Morgan said in a telephone interview, is HP’s “all-in-one” line of printers. The devices, which debuted in June, deliver almost as much printing quality as professional photo labs and act as lightweight scanners and copiers — without hogging precious desktop real estate.

The “simple” campaign is likely to become part of HP’s advertising as the tech industry woos holiday shoppers — many of whom may not be in a merry mood.

The 2002 holiday season was the worst in a decade for U.S. retailers. Shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas plunged 11 percent to $113 billion from the same period in 2001, according to ShopperTrak.

Lingering fears about geopolitical instability and conflict in the Middle East and Africa, a flagging domestic economy and continued unemployment — particularly in the tech industry and among white-collar workers — could mean equally dismal sales this year, economists warn.
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