Print 29 comment(s) - last by GotThumbs.. on Sep 17 at 8:25 AM

HP is coming back to the smartphone game

It appears that Hewlett-Packard's "on-again, off-again" relationship with smartphones is back on. HP dabbled in the smartphone space when it purchased Palm back in 2010. However, HP let the smartphone lineup and the accompanying webOS operating system languish before eventually casting the entire platform aside to focus on its business/enterprise efforts.
However, HP CEO Meg Whitman is now singing a different tune. In an interview with Fox Business News, Whitman emphasized that HP wants to offer a top-to-bottom family of computing products and that a smartphone is a key pillar in that strategy.

HP CEO Meg Whitman [Image Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]
"We are working on this," said Whitman. "We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that would be your first computing device. There will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a pc or a desktop. They will do everything on a smartphone… we have to take advantage of that form-factor.”
Whitman added that the timing has to be right before it decides to come back to the market with a fresh smartphone. "We've got to get it right this time. Better right than faster than we should be there."
So while HP looks to be jumping back into the smartphone fray at some point, don't expect it to go buying another smartphone company like troubled Research in Motion.
"No, that is not a direction that we're going to head."

Source: Fox Business News

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Dig a hole.
By dark matter on 9/14/2012 12:39:19 PM , Rating: 5
Fill it in again.

Dig a hole in the same place.

It's the HP way!!

RE: Dig a hole.
By geddarkstorm on 9/14/2012 2:42:58 PM , Rating: 4
Hey, they aren't burning shareholder cash, they're just trying to keep themselves warm at night :D

RE: Dig a hole.
By Souka on 9/14/2012 2:54:51 PM , Rating: 5
Maybe they should get into making tablets?

Oh wait... nevermind...

RE: Dig a hole.
By FITCamaro on 9/14/12, Rating: 0
RE: Dig a hole.
By Solandri on 9/14/2012 4:14:50 PM , Rating: 4
I could cry. The company which invented the sampling oscilloscope, the cesium beam atomic clock, the desktop calculator, the inkjet printer, and were instrumental to the development of the electronic testing & measurement and printing & plotting industries... has been reduced to playing catch-up.

RE: Dig a hole.
By drycrust3 on 9/14/2012 5:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
At least they are now playing catchup. The board of directors had seemed content to let one of the world's leading computer companies slide into oblivion.

RE: Dig a hole.
By alpha754293 on 9/14/2012 11:03:13 PM , Rating: 1
Well, it certainly doesn't help that the last CEO was a complete moron. And I mean a COMPLETE moron. HOW HP's board of directors actually hired him despite knowing (or they should have known) that he was fired from his LAST job as well -- I dunno. Sounds like HP needs to flush their board of directors and start electing new ones in since they're probably MOST of the problem.

RE: Dig a hole.
By Alexvrb on 9/16/2012 12:36:40 AM , Rating: 2
Wait, did HP hire someone from one of the state DOTs!? I swear they have been doing that on a big road project here for ages now. Well, that and my other favorite - moving a huge pile of dirt, then moving it back.

I guess we'll know for sure if they start using the name "Project Golden Shovel".

RE: Dig a hole.
By Motoman on 9/16/2012 3:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
Waaaaaaay back in the day when I was in jr. high or so, a nuke plant being built in our general area was so mismanaged and allowed to be corrupted by unions that there were construction workers who literally had their names on 2x4s, which they just carried around from spot to spot to make it look like they were working.

RE: Dig a hole.
By GotThumbs on 9/17/2012 8:25:17 AM , Rating: 2
But under better leadership.

Leadership is what can make the difference in any situation.

Be it a corporate or national position.

Leadership is NOT simply gained with completion of a degree....its founded on experience and from within the individual. Some individuals are just born-leaders and some never will get matter how many chances/years you give them.

Best wishes,

Standardization and simplification is the key
By XZerg on 9/14/2012 1:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
HP, Dell and et al need to focus on developing the next generation electronics which their brand of hardware using a "defacto" standards thus simplifying options similar to Apple. They have so much fragmentation and duplication which adds to their cost tremendously and causes customers confusion (at least the joe smoes users). Thus loss of a lot of business opportunity. No need to have 50 models of laptops and desktops each. With the ThunderBolt like ports in existence, they ought to be able to simplify their offerings much better by just selling a standardized docking station for those optional stuff like more USB ports, firewire, hdmi, ... The docking station could and should be usable for both desktops and laptops.

I bet this would definitely cut their cost by a huge sum and allow customers to help themselves by going to Best Buy and such for additional options when they want to.

RE: Standardization and simplification is the key
By Ammohunt on 9/14/2012 1:33:34 PM , Rating: 2
Thats a good point; i never understood why HP and others have 20 different laptop models with 12 different form factors with marginal differences in hardware specs between them all it just compounds buyer confusion. They do this with their servers to a lesser extent as well.

RE: Standardization and simplification is the key
By nedsand on 9/14/2012 2:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
Big companies usually buy one brand of hardware. My company uses Dell exclusively. And we get a big discount due to the amount of hardware we purchase each year. They couldn't keep all of the companies happy with just a few models. They use this same approach for the consumer side also. It keeps their happy customers from switching brands due to not having the features they want.

By Ammohunt on 9/14/2012 3:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
having worked in IT for that past 15 years i understand purchasing practices very well. My point is that they can offer different hardware specs mainly cpu differences in standard form factors rather then a dozen different shapes sized materials etc.. such as apple does.

By XZerg on 9/14/2012 3:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
I beg to differ. Most of these companies tend to order standard laptops and then customize the software. Either externalize the custom part (usb 3.0 is fast enough to handle most needs but if needs be have a docking port).

By XZerg on 9/14/2012 3:29:16 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure if they did consolidate and simplify their product portfolio they would easily be able to provide some very solid products (build material too) at some very reasonable prices. Leave special customizations and needs to either special orders or open doors via docking system.

The other issue is the vast number of screens sizes they try to support. Just support some basic 3 or so sizes only instead of 11,12,13,14,15,17. I would simplify that to 11,14,17.

In general they need to quit being too greedy to get as many customers based on the options. Rather, attract more customers by simplifying options and providing better bang for the buck.

Good luck
By invidious on 9/14/2012 12:47:30 PM , Rating: 5
We will be eagerly awaiting the firesale.

RE: Good luck
By Samus on 9/14/2012 2:06:46 PM , Rating: 2
lol. Should roll around ~Summer 2014!

Of rectangles and smartphones
By Mobious918 on 9/14/2012 1:33:32 PM , Rating: 1
As long as it isn't a rectangle w/ rounded edges Apple should leave them alone. We'll see how it goes.

RE: Of rectangles and smartphones
By NellyFromMA on 9/14/2012 2:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
This joke again?

RE: Of rectangles and smartphones
By nedsand on 9/14/2012 2:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
But can it run Crisis?

"Ducks all the rotten fruit being thrown"

RE: Of rectangles and smartphones
By ProZach on 9/14/2012 3:38:31 PM , Rating: 1
What joke? It's a legal precedence, hopefully unable to be enforced. A real joke would be Apple further obtaining a trademark for the shape. What would it be called? An iTangle? Whatever it may be, I would refer to it as Rect-le.

HP might be advised to adopt an ugly-design strategy from the beginning (or use Windows mobile OS).

By chromal on 9/14/2012 1:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like HP's mobile computing adventurism has come home to roost, yet again. If they were serious about this, they walked away from their best shot when they dismantled the WebOS team.

RE: wtf
By ratbert1 on 9/14/2012 5:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, seems like they had a smartphone last year. D'oh!

Low end phones
By jimbojimbo on 9/14/2012 1:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
If they're going to target getting phones to those that would never be able to own a tablet or computer it's likely they'll produce very low end versions so these people can afford them. Unfortunately the user experience may not be what people expect then it'll fail to get approval.
I'm all for more companies making products but we'll just have to see.

The right time?
By lukarak on 9/14/2012 3:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
The right time was 2007.

The market barely tolerates WP (for now), so i hope you don't plan to introduce a 4th OS into the mix. BB and Bada don't count, BB will be dead very soon and Bada is still in its infancy.
That leaves you with limited options.
Apple won't give you iOS.
You can take Android, but unless you are willing to lose money on the devices for 4-5 years until you build up the economy of scale like Apple or Samsung, don't go into it and stick with what you know what to do. If there is such a thing anymore.

By fteoath64 on 9/16/2012 5:01:53 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, HP do have the resources if he WILL is there to do this properly. Here is my rationale.
1) Market analysis. Both market leaders Android and iOS are getting stale. There is little to no innovation going forward and users are just counting on hardware gains for features. Hardware gains are there for everyone except for proprietary stuff like Kinect. The only new/fresh player is MicroSoft. And we know how slow it moves so that is a good target to beat, while it does "market testing" with its new OS and new apps. It will take time (1-2years if they can survive that long).
2) HP's resources. They have WebOS which is no slouch but needs more development towards stronger differentiating features. It is a strong base compared to QNX which precedes BB10. WebOS is not an unknown quantity and need more boost in development forwards. Now it is Open Source, it becomes more free.

So if HP spends 18 months developing their handset to almost ICS quality, it will do alright. The reason is, the competition will not have moved much further. Apps can catch up. But HP cannot focus on business alone, it must focus on the consumer market and have strong partners (which it has in the PC space) to drive the consumer focus and cross-sell their computer/printer/IT products.

One must remember that the leaders with stale technology makes it much harder to innovate. It will come a time when they have to "start over" and that would mean a reset of the baseline of competitiveness. If Meg can last another 3-4 years, this could work. She needs to re-look at traditional Product managers. They are restricting the product capabilities. Need new type of Managers to own aspects of the product rather than a broad category. HP can move into multi-modal both in usage modes and cross industry focus. They just need to organise in a new way.

Remember the iPaq?
By Flunk on 9/14/2012 1:02:33 PM , Rating: 1
HP actually used to sell some fairly successful phones, the iPaq range. If they can bring out a good, quality smartphone like that maybe they will have a chance. Windows Phone or Android please no one needs another damn smartphone OS (I'm looking at you RIM).

Try harder
By zlandar on 9/14/12, Rating: -1
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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