HP creates Mobility division to handle tablets and such | webOS Nation
 
 

HP creates Mobility division to handle tablets and such 28

by Derek Kessler Fri, 17 Aug 2012 4:28 pm EDT

HP creates Mobility division to handle tablets and such

Almost exactly a year after HP announced the cancellation of all webOS hardware development, kicking off a fire sale of the remaining devices and an exodus of high- and low-level talent within the webOS Global Business Unit, the Palo Alto technology giant is giving things in the mobile space another go. According to an internal memo obtained by The Verge, the Printing and Personal Systems Group (PPS - the result of the merger of the Personal Systems Group and the Imaging and Printing Group) head Todd Bradley has created a new Mobility Global Business Unit to "reinvest in mobility via dedicated leadership, focused research and development, amazing new products, and a growing suite of applications and services."

The new Mobility GBU will be headed by seven-year Nokia veteran executive Alberto Torres, who is joining HP as a Senior Vice President. The upcoming Slate 8 tablet, however, will stay under the Computing GBU with the notebook team that helped to build it.

What exactly HP intends to do with the Mobility GBU isn't entirely clear, though we have little doubt their focus will be on tablets and not smartphones, and it's all but certain Windows 8 will play a major role going forward. What sort of role webOS will play is a big unknown at this point, though with HP spinning off the webOS GBU as a separate company, we can't be certain of anything at this point. The wording of the memo, specifically the word 'reinvest', doesn't exactly have overtones that we find encouraging for webOS with the Mobility GBU.

As the world's largest PC and printing business, we make it matter for hundreds of millions of people each and every day. Today we are taking an important step to serve even more customers in new and exciting ways.

I am pleased to announce that we are creating a team dedicated to delivering the best mobility solutions in the industry. With this move, we are building on our commitment to re-invest in mobility via dedicated leadership, focused research and development, amazing new products and a growing suite of applications and services.

Our new Mobility Global Business Unit initially will focus on consumer tablets and will expand to additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers. Our existing notebook teams, including our soon-to-be launched commercial tablet, will remain within the PC GBU under James Mouton at this time.

To lead the Mobility GBU, I am thrilled to announce that we have recruited a proven executive from the mobile-device industry. Alberto Torres, who most recently oversaw the MeeGo products and platform at Nokia as Executive Vice President, will join HP as Senior Vice President of Mobility, reporting to me.

I am excited to have Alberto join us. During his seven years at Nokia, he held a variety of critical leadership positions, including two years on the company's Executive Board. In earlier roles at Nokia, Alberto ran the company's premium brand, its accessory and CDMA businesses and corporate strategy. Prior to Nokia, he was a partner at McKinsey and Company, where he worked with industry leaders in mobile devices, consumer technologies, software and Internet services. A Ph.D in computer science from Stanford University, Alberto currently holds vice chairman roles with the firms Bang & Olufsen and Opera Software.
Alberto's first order of business will be to accelerate our tablet strategy and begin to execute products against our consumer/SMB target. The exact structure of his team will follow that strategy.

Alberto's start date will be September 3. Please join me in welcoming Alberto to HP and in supporting him and his team in their important work.

Regards,

Todd

Source: The Verge

28 Comments

Wooo hooooo!!!!!! Did you guys hear that? New WebOS tablets and phones coming our way in 2013!!!

Not.

So...... HP to make hardware mobile devices. Did not see that one coming for another year, but hey no one is happier than me. Maybe this means there is a device for me to purchase when my Pre2 has had it. At least I hope there will be, a device designed for and running webOS. The god news someone can see that WebOS got potential to in a year or 2 well lets make it 3 to make a dent in both google and apple. WebOS is the future nothing will ever be the same.
//Beca

LOL! Very wishful thinking.

.
This memo states that HP's new Mobility division will be separate from the PPS group - which is producing a Windows 8 tablet.

From previous discussions - in regards to a HP Windows 8 tablet - it has been mentioned that Microsoft would have some type of agreement (with HP) that precludes any webOS connection - a sort of exclusivity clause.

Would the development of this Mobility division infer that HP is designing a tablet outside of the Windows 8 OS? Not necessarily webOS, but possibly Android - although it would be nice if webOS was given strong consideration.

.

Haven't they said they are not going to develop a Windows RT device? It's possible that this releases them from any anticompetitive terms. The full-blown version of Windows has no such restrictions.

Or it could be they are giving Windows RT a try after all.

It's a >division<, as in >100% part of HP<.
Apart from that, I don't believe in any agreement keeping HP from doing what they want tablet-wise.
If that thing existed (yes I remember the article here), there is no way HP as one of MS biggest customers is held back by any old contract. They know how to leverage their weight, and they've had more than one battle with MS that they won (I have family ties at HP).

How does that saying go...
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

I think it goes something like "If at first you don't succeed, throw in the towel after about 6 weeks then torture your most dedicated supporters."

In the case of HP & webOS "if at first you don't succeed, maybe skydiving wasn't for you"

And the new phones will be powered by that new Quadricorn processor! Hooray! Maybe I'm just a pessimist, maybe a realist. If anything, I feel they'll go Android and end any conjecture about caring about WebOS. I am just hoping to be able to flash an awesome openWebOS ROM onto some future device. Rod and team will give us something to smile about, and they will be the only ones.

Please dont let my new webos phone have that touchpad/ipad button thing to get in the way of my gestures like the windsornot. arghhhh

and while we at it I want my palm name back. Please

I'll trade the name for new webOS phones and tablets.

These comments are lame.

Where's all the webOS fans on this webOS site?

THIS IS GOOD NEWS Y'ALL SHOULD BE HAPPY

/smh

Tend to agree, at least it is promising news. Especially that they'll produce consumer focussed hardware. There is a good chance that there will be a tablet, and with or without HP's support I'm sure we'll get webOS running on that as it will be ready for a Linux kernel 3.3 based OS like webOS. Hoping that it won't be a locked down Windows tablet.

This is actually the best news I've seen for a while on the hardware front.

Maybe its just me, but I always thought of supporting HP and supporting webOS as mutually exclusive. Just because HP opens a mobility division (with no mention of webOS) just after conveniently jettisoning the webOS GBU into its own company, it doesn't mean for a second that it's "good news." If anything, it's pretty horrible news when you've been set aside and immediately replaced by an entirely new division within a few days.
 
If I demoted you after giving you the shaft a few times over the last couple of years and replaced you with someone new out of the blue, would you be alright if we praised my efforts? Because, by your logic, we should consider myself a prettty awesome manager for doing just that.
 
It's also been kind of weird to witness, since the day HP took over webOS through present, how much people here at webOS Nation became HP backers and trackers as opposed to backers and trackers of just webOS itself. And it's also quite interesting to hear the same people that swear off HP applaud when they do something that has zero to do with webOS. Really, really weird.
 
webOS !== HP. HP !== webOS. When HP opens a Mobility division, it doesn't mean "jack" nor "squat" for webOS, and I'm honestly surprised that people give these announcements any weight at all.
 
Has it come down to still pinning hopes for webOS' success on HP despite the fact that they're amazingly good at acting ignorant of webOS' existence in the public eye when it comes to announcing anything regarding their mobile efforts, talking up their future initiatives, or speaking to their investors?
 
More than a few of the people still here--but not all--are turning webOS Nation into Crazytown real quick.

Finally, one sane person/post. Could not agree more.

Well said, sir!

If you are a WebOS fan (I am!), how does this announcement excite you? It doesn't mention WebOS. It doesn't even imply anything WebOS.

I believe that HP is done with WebOS. Good riddance. Their guidance has been a disaster. The Titantic lasted longer and had more survivors than HMS HP/WebOS. Those of us who made it to the lifeboats had better look elsewhere for salvation.

There are things that we know and things that we don't know yet. We know that HP is working on a Windows 8 / RT tablet that will be introduced sometime within the next month more or less. This device is intended as a business product and there is no indication so far that this will be marketed as a consumer device. The recent news with the creation of Gram provides a platform for HP and other OEMs to use for future devices.
With Android sellers paying Microsoft and others for the licensing of each device that helps webOS and make it more attractive. I think the app issue for webOS is largeley resolved and that will not be a hinderance. The Apple v. Samsung trial should be comeing to close soon. If I were a betting person I would give 75% chance that Samsung loses the trial. Samsung is the largest Android phone manufaturer and I believe that they are about to take a huge pounding from the jury. If that happens I think more OEMs will be looking for an OS that is not Android. Whether that will be webOS or not I don't know. But I do thing that there is pretty good business case to do so.

HP could sell an Android device, but there is no reason to think that they would create this new group to sell a Windows 8 consumer device.

Did I miss something, how is the app issue for webOS resolved?

via that emulator thingy whose name I've forgotten which is due in september... and is said to run 100% of all android apps. That company works closely with HP and.... argh... google for more info!

If its not released yet then its not anything you can count on.

Found it: openmobile. They sounded quite optimistic a couple months back. Wouldn't be surprised if it was part of the openwebos release (see collaboration with HP).
I guess even HP is aware of the app problem - they're not all morons.

HP's announcement, forget it...

"Our new Mobility Global Business Unit initially will focus on consumer tablets and will expand to additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers."

HP if you want offer me anything valuable, bring back the phones and tablets with WebOS running on them.

you know they aren't listening to you right?

I can see with HP splitting off GRAM (webos), the HP tablet division doing a WEBOS tablet. However I can also see them doing Android as well.

I think HP is trying to do a (successful) split off similar to Palm / Palmone. I would imagine that any manufacturer thinking about Webos for a tablet/phone would not do so if it were from HP with HP also being a tablet manufacturer.

I think as well HP sees the need to be in the tablet market, especially if they want Webos to do anything, they need to get in there and kick start it. I hope it works, but who knows...HP's track record as we all know is not great.

As far as Windows RT I thought HP had announced that they had decided against doing one of those tablets. I thought they were sticking to the Windows 8 Pro tablet market.