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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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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.

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