It was crazy enough when talk began leaking out this morning that HP was spinning off their PC business — they’re the biggest PC maker in the world.
Now they’re winding down (read: killing off) webOS and killing off the Pre and the just-released TouchPad?
Yes, they have their large enterprise business. And now they have Autonomy. So essentially, HP is going to try to do the same move IBM did in the 1990s. It worked for IBM, will it work for HP?
More importantly, did HP really need to do this? Seems a little premature to me. Yes, the TouchPad was a flop. But we’re in the very early days of the mobile/tablet space. And again, HP rules (ruled) the PC business.
With the webOS buy, HP had an opportunity to control an entire ecosystem — hardware and software working seamlessly together. They could have been a true foil to Apple. Instead, they’re giving up and becoming an enterprise company.
Well, that’s one way to kill your fledgling tablet. Hint that you’ll soon be backing a competitor as well. Brilliant.
HP is really starting to worry me. Somewhere Mark Hurd is smiling. “Somewhere” being in Oracle’s boardroom.
The reviews are in.
Overall, it’s a resounding “meh”.
That’s pretty disappointing. I’ve always liked webOS. I had high hopes for the TouchPad. But it’s clear now that if HP does something great with webOS, it will not be this device.
I just don’t get why you even bother releasing “meh” at this point? I can only assume HP doesn’t think it’s “meh”, but they are still human beings. They can still look at an iPad 2 and then look at the TouchPad and see there is a clear difference.
I understand the need to get something out there to get developers developing, but I have a hard time believing “meh” is going to get them excited either. It’s not like people are saying the lack of apps is the only problem (though it is definitely a big problem).
I wonder how many people would buy an iPad 1 over any other tablet on the market (not named iPad 2) right now? I bet almost everyone would.
And that should say all you need to know about the specs race. There is no specs race. The only race that exists is the one for a distant second place.
But only in a limited way, Jon Rubinstein tells This is my next.
This is interesting in that it would be a step away from what has been a “let’s be more like Apple” strategy. Well, unless you count 1990s Apple.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad move. It’s just different.
Apple doesn’t license out for a number of reasons. But one big one I imagine is the simple fear that it would cheapen the brand — even if they got the best partners in the world. Or at the very least, the fear that it could in some way cheapen the brand. Or hamper the ecosystem. When you’re not in total control, well, you’re not in total control.
But HP has a problem right now in that webOS is far behind iOS, Android, and perhaps even WP7 in terms of reach. The fastest way to build that up would be through licensing to OEM partners.
But if that’s the main reason, that is absolutely a mistake.
Hopefully HP just feels like webOS would benefit from outside help and they’d love to see others’ takes on what they could do with it. But that’s a bit idealistic. It almost always comes down to a business decision on some level.
And for that reason alone, I dont’ have a good feeling about this.