What’s going wrong at HP?

agosto 23, 2011

Recently i’ve been surprised by HP CEO decission of discontinue WebOS, HP TouchPad and perhaps sale PC division. Something similar was the story of IBM and Lenovo. IBM build PC at higher cost than others competitors and took the way out of PC world. Now HP has two products areas on wich act: PC and Tablets. They bought Palm thinking about their WebOS operating system like a way to act against Apple and their iOS and iPad. On the other hand they must act against Dell and their quality products. Two battles to win, very hard done.

Everyone who has the responsability of maintain an IT department at lowest cost allways has on mind other brand but not HP: Dell. At my company we use all servers, iSCSI NAS, PCs, from Dell due they have a very competitive price, a very high level of quality, and what is most important, a good technical service.

At Tablet world all we have a dream: to own an iPad 2, perhaps new iPad 3 with retina display. People like me do not want a Tablet from a manufacturer that does not suport 100% of the operating system inside, Android. We do mot want to spent time with configuration issues, software compatibilities, and more, like we must do with our PCs, Windows or Linux versions. We have a Tablet because we are mobile users that need those little times we spent at bus, metro, trains to read mail, prepare drafts of work, and we can not spent time with software issues. So our decission is buy an iPad because Apple has done a very good job joining a powerfull and experienced operating system, iOS, and a price contained device like iPad.Of course there is a market on mobile users that need a Tablet and can pay about 450€ to buy one but Apple’s competitors can not build a device under 400€ and maintain their benefit ratio. All manufacturers of Android Tablets have to pay to Google license rights for each device they sale. This is about 70-100€ each one. HP thought that if they wanted to battle Apple’s iPad the way was to have a propietary operating system they could control and not to pay for it: they bought Palm and their WebOS.

HP with old Palm Pre engineers have tried to develop an iOS clone and history allways tell us that copies are not so good. HP has spent time and resources to win a battle tha was lost from time they started. Apple’s iPad is so good and has a price that no one can battle it. Of course if we had an iPad clone with a price of 99€ many people would buy it but that price is imposible: only the IPS display has that price.

HP’s services division is a very lucrative area that has the very weight handicap of PC manufacturation with very little margin. That resources could be spent into services area and this is the decision of HP’s CEO: move resources from an inproductive area to a sucess one.

I’ve using HP products for a long time but all printers. Never i used servers because IBMs were better at similar price. Also i did not used PCs because Dell had more quality and price. Now that i need a Tablet i choose iPad because Apple’s product is better. Perhaps HP decided to continue developing WebOS because they have engineers from Palm with a long time contract and they are no more than 20/40 persons. My opinion is there is not space for another operating system playing at market. We have iOS, Linux, Android, and now WebOS wich will demonstrate its quality in the future to win a piece of market.

Finally i think HP is the best at printer market but at other areas is simple another actor with no specialization and higher cache.

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