With HP PCs faltering, it's time for webOS to step up. No pressure. | webOS Nation

With HP PCs faltering, it's time for webOS to step up. No pressure. 101

by Derek Kessler Tue, 17 May 2011 7:23 pm EDT

In the quarterly earnings report for the last quarter, HP announced that the Personal Systems Group suffered from a 5% decline in revenue from the previous quarter. PSG is the division of HP that makes the HP that most people know: desktop and laptop computers (printers are handled by the Imaging and Printing Group). The Palm Global Business Unit, formerly known as Palm, Inc., also falls under the PSG, though we can’t say that revenues from webOS device sales during the quarter ended April 30 impacted HP’s bottom line in any appreciable manner.

So we have to ask, what’s eating into HP’s PC sales? It’s not consumer sentiment towards HP – they’ve been making great strides in improving the quality of their computer hardware and their Envy line of laptops is within striking range of Apple’s unibody MacBook Pro portables in terms of build quality. It’s also not the bloatware that HP pre-installs on its computers, as that’s something that afflicts practically the entire swatch of PC vendors. No, it’s one little 1.3-pound slice of Apple product called the iPad.

Demand for the iPad 2 remains so stratospherically high that more than two months after it launched you still can’t go into a store and be assured your pick of models. Even online purchasers are met with one- to two-week shipping times. The iPad hasn’t diminished demand for HP’s high-end laptops, but the high end has never been HP’s bread-and-butter. The iPad is attacking with a ravenous hunger the bottom end of HP’s portable line-up.

The practical among us might thing, “But the $500 iPad doesn’t do nearly as much as a bottom-line $400 HP laptop!” And you’d be right. But 99% of buyers of either product aren’t going to use it to its fullest capabilities. The average user doesn’t care how much better the $400 HP laptop is at 3D models and World of Warcraft than the $500 iPad – they care about things like web browsing, email, silly time wasting games, how well it slips into their bag, and how long the battery lasts. That’s where the $500 iPad absolutely eats the $400 laptop’s lunch.

There’s not much HP can do to improve the laptop. The form has been evolved, chisled, strengthened, and overall made better and more capable over its 30-or-so years of existence. There will always be a market for the more capable and powerful laptop, just as there will always be a market for the even-more-so desktop, mainframes, and servers. What the iPad has managed to do, however, is start the low-end laptop on the path to obsolescence. It’s already destroyed the netbook segment in less than a year. If the $300 netbook couldn’t compete with the iPad, how can the $400 does-the-same-things-as-a-netbook-but-faster laptop be expected to compete?

All of this is why HP bought Palm last summer. HP, like Apple, has realized that the future is personal mobility (though, in all fairness, Apple realized it years ago and HP’s playing catch-up). HP will likely always be selling laptops and desktops and servers, or at least they will for the foreseeable future, just as Apple’s not going to suddenly stop selling MacBooks and iMacs. As long as there’s still money to be made, they’ll both be in the market. But the importance personal computer is on a downward trajectory, and it’s happening faster than any of us really expected. Look again at that revenue decline suffered by the Personal Systems Group. 5% in a quarter. Sure, the preceding quarter included the holiday buying season, but the division was down even in comparison to the same quarter last year. Over the last year HP’s overall revenue rose by 2.5%. Apple’s up more than 75%, almost entirely thanks to the iPhone and iPad.

Without webOS, and in particular, the TouchPad, HP is risking being left behind in a market that’s exploding faster than anybody could have anticipated. It’s clear that the TouchPad and webOS 3.0 are very much the focus of the Palm Global Business Unit, and all signs point to the launch happening in likely the next month or so.

HP’s future is heading in two directions: the cloud and mobility. The $1.2 billion they spent to buy Palm has likely already been surpassed by the money sunk into developing new devices, updating webOS, securing contracts with carriers, purchasing other companies to support webOS, and what we expect to be a sizable chunk of change set aside for an all-out assault of a marketing campaign.

All that money will likely buy a lot of sales, and right now HP has tech industry hype on its side. What the TouchPad really has to do is deliver the goods. That’s not saying that the tablet needs to ship (which it does), but it needs to ship “complete.” What’s been holding back adoption of Android 3.0 tablets like the Motorola Xoom and Asus Transformer has been the lack of completeness. Compared to the overall breadth of the Android Marketplace and the selection of iPad-optimized apps in the App Store, there are comparatively few Android tablet apps. But at least the Honeycomb tablets can still run regular Android apps. In addition, it’s taken a while for Google to even update their own apps to be 3.0-compatible. For what it’s worth, when the G1 launched on T-Mobile with Android 1.0, it wasn’t a rousing success either. But that’s the Google way: launch, improve, and then dominate. And they may still dominate the tablet market, but unlike with smartphones, Google (and HP) face a competitor that not only dominates the category, but singlehandedly thrust it into the consumer’s mind.

The TouchPad needs to capture the feeling of a complete experience. That complete experience is a number of things, but in essence it needs to work well enough and be cohesive enough that the user doesn’t have to think about what they’re doing. If it can’t do that, then it’s not going to stand a chance against the iPad or Android tablets.

It’s a lot of weight to foist upon the shoulders of a single first-generation webOS tablet, but the TouchPad is the torchbearer for both the cloud-enabled and mobility-minded futures of HP. The PC has done its part in this marathon relay race, and now it’s time for the tablet to take over. The iPad may have the head start on this leg, but it’s the TouchPad’s race to lose.

No pressure.


"That’s where the $500 iPad absolutely eats the $400 laptop’s lunch."

The problem is the $500 iPad is going to eat the $500 TouchPad's lunch too.


they should sell it for 400

They should market the **** out it correctly. No creepy ladies, no moms.

I want to see commercials shoing off the cards, wireless charging, running multiple apps, touch n go sharing.

I increasingly find myself creeping over to the android forum, there is no news here, no products, no public demand and no support for current adopters of WebOS, now i'm just trying to figure out which droid will suite me best as there are literally dozens of choices..as for the touchpad, a rooted Nook color will deliver my streaming netflicks, angry birds, email and internet...at half the cost. yes i'm here to complain about WebOS, who hasn't in the last year?

Its nice over there. Promises, fulfilled. O/S's, updated. Hardware options, plentiful. Apps, galore.

Great to hear the all powerful HP sales force will roll out this overdue untested tablet. This is the same sales force that lost the lead in server sales this year to IBM (a software company). And is getting crushed by Google (an advertising company for mobile o/s. And it getting surpassed in mobile computing (laptops and tablets) by Apple (a niche provider). This sales force that sell printers is going to sell tablets which (along with smartphones) removes our dependence on printers (HP's core product).

Oh, yeah, this will go well.

How about a couple of Cooper Minis wrapped with pictures of the Veer, instead?

Red Bull does that well with their marketing campaign. When I go running at the park down the street, on a nice day, you'll see a Red Bull mini (with a big can of Red Bull propped up on the roofline) and 2 attractive young ladies giving out free cans.

So I say there should be HP girls driving around in Minis handing out free phones :)

Considering each new device sells fewer units than the prior generation (how's that for a trend in a high growth market), you may get your wish soon enough.

What market are you thinking of though? Yes, the iPad is always going to be more popular than the TouchPad (I would love to be wrong on that), but HP also has a huge footprint in the enterprise space that Apple seems to go out of it's way to not fully support. If they can gain traction there, it can only help consumer demand as well as people start to use them for business and then realize how great of an experience webOS is.

And we don't *know* the TouchPad will be $500. ;-)

Where is this vast enterprise tablet market they're supposed to gain traction in? The same one that "sold out" the HP Slate?

They need to track down every single customer who bought an HP Slate recently or an HP iPaq Glisten or whatever and sell them a FatPad. Anyone who bought one of those will probably buy anything.

Leo Apothecker to his managers: "We have absolutely no room for profitless revenue"

Selling a TouchPad for $400 would probably be profitless.

There is no way Palm can be both successful and profitable in the short term. HP bought the wrong company if they expect Palm to make a profit in the next few years.

I don't think any of this is *wrong*, but I honestly think it ignores the single biggest factor:

People want iPads because other people have iPads.

It's amazing how often there is *literally* no other reason. Next time someone says they're going to get an iPad, engage in a low-key discussion with them about "why." You'll be shocked how often they can't articulate what they find appealing about the iPad (as opposed to a laptop or even no biggish portable device at all). And what you're seeing there is the herd-factor, and it's huge.

You are completely right, being able to play "Words with Friends" with your buddy is a reason I know lots of people got the iPhone.

As Noelb says below, the Apple ecosystem is largely responsible for this. Some of your friends may play Words With Friends or Scrabble with each other. you want in on the action. Bam.

Or you see their Facebook feed with "Hipstamatic"-enhanced photos and you wanna do that.

Apple products are ostentatious by nature, so it encourages this phenomenon. WebOS is not.

Hopefully the Touchpad will catch on even as a corporate device.... I work at an e-learning company with about 60 people that just recently (3-4 months ago) bought a handful of iPad's. Guess how many of them are utilized here at the company... Yep, you guessed it. Big fat ZERO.
They're all lying around collecting dust. They're toys in a corporate world... at least as far as the company I work for goes.

There is an opportunity here for HP, hope they don't mess it up. If the Veer is any indication
of where it's going then I'll just buy a Touchpad because I love webOS. Oh well, here's to hoping.

why would the touchpad catch on in a corporate environment if the iPad could not? that's because tablet's themselves are glorified huge smart phones...at the end of the day in a real corporate environment, you need an OS not initially designed for a smartphone

You just spoke about webOS 3.0 there.

An example:

I work at a very large company that uses HP data centers, has full-time HP technicians on-site at multiple locations, uses plenty of HP servers and networking, and has HP desktops/laptops on over half of the corporate desks. I've never seen an Apple device other than people's personal iPhones.

Blackberries are the only company-purchased phones and the only ones allowed to access company information, although I think they are considering iPhones. HP would have an opportunity to pitch webOS phones since they could help support them with staff already here, but they would need to demonstrate VERY strong security.

In our retail channels, sales, and in some operations, there are certainly applications for a good number of tablet devices. The opportunity to easily port or build some internal applications that would work across PCs, phones, and tablets would be useful.

It's certainly not a sure sale, but HP would have a chance at this company and Apple wouldn't.

As a Pre owner and an iPad user, I don't see what that has to do with it. I work in a Fortune 500 co. where the iPad is quite welcome, even if it has only replaced everyone's bulky Franklin Planners. The tablet also makes reading and marking up PDF files much easier than using a PC/laptop. Also, the iPad is actually more corporate friendly than my Palm Pre, as it connects to our LEAP WiFi network. I do tend to use the iPad for initial creation & then port the work over to a laptop, of course -- but I don't see the world as either/or. I even use it for HTML/LaTeX composition. The iPad also give me SSH connections, where I have all the power of command-line BSD from my sofa. So the iPad strikes me as both useful and corporate beneficial.

HP’s premier client event, HP DISCOVER, takes place June 6 - 10 in Las Vegas and Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 in Vienna, Austria. The event showcases how organizations can get started on their Instant-On Enterprise journeys.

Just go to HP's website and search for DISCOVERY 2011. This will give an idea how HP's mobility tools (TP, smartphones, webOS) fit in the grand scheme of things.

INSTANT-ON, you said? <sneer>. Windows 7 Ultimate is "instant-on" on my 2yrs old Fujitsu-Siemens laptop, comparing to WebOSon my 1GHz overclocked Pre- ;)

INSTANT-ON WebOS isn't ;)

I agree. The iPad was never intended for business use and should not be purchased as such. Apple's tablet was designed as a better alternative to netbooks, and it works well as that.

Totally agree. Apple is brilliant with creating ENVY. Which, in turn, corrals developers who are looking to have a shot at making money by marketing their apps.

HP needs to create envy - make people that do not have a WebOS device feel inferior in order to compete with iPad sales - or at least take a chunk out of their market share.

HP's biggest problem is that they cannot get out of their own way. Late launches, terrible marketing, empty promises, lousy (legacy device) support, etc.

It's a shame, they have a great UI - probably the best and most intuitive one out there! They just play the waiting game too much and come out with a nearly obsolete device every time they come to market.

Every device they put out needs to be scalable with software, otherwise we're all looking at a dead OS.

I'm sure just about everyone on this forum is about ready to go Android or iPhone if HP doesn't deliver. Am I wrong??

Get it together HPalm!!

I tried Android out for a while with an HTC Hero that I bought on ebay. After a few months, I was pining for webOS. I didn't care much for Android, but I also know some people that really love it. I got my wife an iPad for Christmas, and have used it quite a bit in the last 5 months. I don't mind it, but I prefer webOS to iOS. To each his own.

I'll patiently wait for more webOS devices because I enjoy using webOS the most.

@sodajunkie -- I think HP needs to create USEFULNESS, not envy. They need to look past the OS, actually, cuz that's not where they failed. My Pre- proved to be a crippled pigeon of a smartphone because of a failed PDF reader and an abandoned Office Suite. It didn't even come w/ a countdown timer or stopwatch -- they left that for developers to fill in. Also -- no Kindle App? No LEAP support? Ugh. Useless. The TouchPad cannot have these omissions & succeed. My 2nd Gen. iPod Touch is actually MORE useful to me (& a year older) than my Pre-.

Not to be a heretic, but I don't see anything more compelling about the WebOS interface than the iOS interface -- they both get me around to my Apps and let me choose settings. My 3-year old can navigate an iPad and an iMac, (& my Pre-) so let's not overhype the "intuitive" thing.

HP/Palm needs to shoot for USEFULNESS. If the TouchPad is USEFUL, then people will use it. I don't "live" in an OS -- I "live" and "do" in & in-between Apps and a laptop.

The Apps are critical.
(Provided the HW is competitive -- that just needs to be a "given.")

If people wanted useful they'd get a laptop. But people only buy tablets for the fun factor. They want fun. They want cool. Apple knows how to deliver that. This isn't HP.

Bingo, tablets are for fun, laptops (and netbooks) are for professionals. Do you really want to pay an employee to type out a purchase order or prepare technical specs pecking on a virtual keyboard with one key at a time, and no hard drives for unlimited storage?

Is HP going to tell business they need this technology? Or is the market asking for it?

I do not necessary agree with you, touchscreen OSes CAN be a productivity boosts, not just fun - for one I much prefer to handle my calendars on my WebOS than in my Outlook, reading/browsing on tablets is way more comfortable than on a screen/laptop, taskslist/todo lists are (or even workflow solutions could be, potentially) great on mobile OS/device.

I'd like to think my employees don't spend a preponderance of their time updating any calendars. WebOS is great for calendars updates, although, productivity does take a hit waiting for the calendar to actually start. Whazup wit dat?

Great article, but I don't think HP has the same idea of "completeness" that you do.

For example, they mention the HP Movie Store briefly, then never touch upon it again. After doing some research, I see why. It already exists and is simply a rebranding of RoxioNow's e-movie download service, same as Sears and Kmart's AlphaLine: http://alphaline.roxionow.com/

THAT is their idea of a video content system? It will be about as compelling and pervasive as Samsung's "Video Hub" on their Galaxy S line of tablets and phones. After all, the prices and selection are virtually identical (and useless). People want Hulu and Netflix - stuff they already use and pay for.

What music services are they offering? Whatever it is, it probably won't be integrated. Amazon Kindle is the e-reader, and Time does the magazines, and so on and so on....

It's a disjointed experience, and it won't be seen as complete by mainstream consumers.

Yep, HP may need a tablet, but they're in completely over their head in trying to run an OS platform.

Still, it's fun watching the train wreck.

As you can see enterprise is where HPalm's attention is goin'
Believe me when you order a few thousand of those babies you are not payin' 500 clams a piece......

It's in this market (HP has relationships) where HP can make inroads. WebOS on all devices from printers, phones, slabs, toilet bowls, you name it is what HP is shooting for

Yeah, when HP puts out a new product at Best Buy or any other electronic retailer, they put it in the display case and up all sorts of posters. Everybody is trained before the launch so that they can answer any questions about the product. They don't just sit in the back unopened, waiting for someone to get around to stocking them up front.

You clearly haven't been to any cell phone stores recently! There are NO knowledgeable staff about H/Palm.

I remember that printer that had the android tablet. HP told us we needed that. Did anybody buy it?

The real question is...Whats that phone in the photoshop!

It's a Touchpad lol

You weren't serious, were you? :)

It's a TouchPad, with the weight of HP on its shoulders. Like Atlas holding up the heavens.

for people commenting on which os they prefer, they always say 'oh, i love webos, ios isn't fully featured enough for me. it's just a bunch of rows of icons.'

apple has proved again and again and again with each revelation of a product and service that people will respond heavily if you present to them meaningfully. that's how you relate product value to a consumer, because they give you back the acceptance of that worth through their money. and all of the apple products are so deeply ingrained into our culture (music -ipod, smartphone -iphone, tablet -ipad) that competitors are having a more difficult time even being seen, let alone being accepted and purchased. and with similar products having the same price as the ipad (xoom, playbook, touchpad) there is no contest in which one the majority of buyers will choose just because of the massive mindshare that exists already for apple.

so where does that bring us? hp and other traditional pc makers that are bleeding slowly, more than before, because of what the tablet now means for personal computing. it's true, window's dizzying settings and menus and dribble aren't serving the user as they should. many do not know what to do when their computer isn't connecting to the internet, or their program freezes, or the computer has malware. they call for help. but now you have the ipad, where the user is in command of piloting the internet and all settings are straightforward, the settings the average user doesnt need to know about doesn't exist visually. there is a huge app selection, and love to go 'shopping.' it is this type of 'forthcoming' interaction that apple has nailed, and continues to do so. ease of operation, intuition, and accessibility are some of the key points to their software strategy.

and while others are toting some seriously hardcore hardware specs with triple core processors and 6-inch phone screens and superduper sound processing, apple chooses to not disclose that type of information. why? the average user doesn't care, only geeks care. like us. but us represents a very small piece of the pie. apple learned not too long ago that the important person is the teen who likes music, the grandma who wants to see her email, the parents who want to think they are as cool as their kids. they chose to focus less on the computer nerd who uses program to create graphics and play wow and write code.

hp needs to realize that although it does not have to necessarily take on the same strategy that apple had done, it needs to revamp its offerings. yes, hp is a huge enterprise presence, but just like blackberry found out the hard way, this alone will not save you. blackberry was the brand for working people, businessman, but it is losing ground fast because other companies were innovating while they were not. a pretty common cycle in technology. microsoft was once the big boss, collecting on windows and office, and now they are trying to get back into it.

webos is a great thing, and hp needs to take a huge risk by leveraging it among general consumers and also the business world. it basically has until the end of this year, lets be honest. with close to 1% now in userbase, with android picking up speed like a rollercoaster, and apple continuing to innovate and do its thing, hp is at a huge fork, even with new devices on the horizon. what if the software on the touchpad isn't 100%? bad reviews come in and thats it. what if the marketing is again, another miss? another minus.

im rooting for webos, but hp has its work cut out.

well said.

If HP doesn't come out of the gate firing hard on all cylinders with the TouchPad - that's marketing, product, apps, at least the illusion of an 'ecosystem,' and a big gorgeous slab phone immediately to follow - then webOS is toasted even I have to concede. as much as I love webOS on my Sprint Pre- even I will -.- sigh and probably fall into android...

from what's seen so far with the Feb event, too many "in the coming months" teases, a weak and mystifying Veer release, I'm not sure HP has got their sights sufficiently locked on what msechea has said so well: people want ease of use, image, apps, all around appeal, and vaguely ostentatious ( a little, anyway ) presentation. which is unlike webOS' understated elegance. america doesn't respond to hardly anything understated or elegant.

no one's asking me, but if HP wants to get into this game they better be ready to unleash one heckuva launch this June.

This is like 2+ years ago on this forum when people said things like "Palm just knows how to do it right." and 1 year ago when people said HP had deep pockets and would do an all-out marketing blitz with each product.

But, but, but...they're a big successful company, and thus they'll be successful in everything they do.

...just like AIG was! Unlike AIG though, they will not get tax payers money, in all probability.

I completely agree with you. HP isn't the only one on the outside looking in. Microsoft/Nokia is too, and I suspect MS "gets it" much more than HP does, and they will spend the money to make WP7 a top-three mobile OS.

HP will have to compete on price hard, even if they lose money just on the hardware for now.

They don't have anything else in the webOS system to make money on if not hardware. Time to abandon ship and get cozy with MS.

It all boils down to really having nothing to leverage. HP's leverage is its PC & other customers. These customers though are more hooked to Windows than HP. And MS is the one looking to leverage its desktop OS.

Apple worked hard gaining an itunes presence. Google worked hard gaining its google apps & search customers. MS has its office, windows, xbox base to build upon.

HP doesn't have this. It's running around buying up generic services that no one really wants trying to put them together to make a puzzle.

HP claims to have doubled down but we don't see this as things still smell like they did back with Palm. To compete in the mobile market and especially with a new platform, HP has to go all in. And they are reluctant to do this.

HP lacks the leadership needed to run an OS & platform.

Fantastic write up, man, well said!

I feel it's too early and a bit difficult to say what's affecting the 5%. For all we know it could be that Dell has better pricing and in an economy like this, people are going to pinch and go for a cheaper PC.

There's also consolidation and virtualization happening in large scales. VDI is picking up, and even though many companies are not going the right route (ie: just because a big name is out there, doesn't make it the best solution), this is shrinking the sales of full blown PCs.

I highly doubt the iPad2 market is affecting this that drastically. Of course, I could be wrong, but as many people as I know that have an iPad, they didn't sacrifice their PCs yet. the iPad is a portable device, not a full fledged device. Sure, you can do quite a bit on it, even have many users use it entirely, but at some point or another, they're coming back to their PCs because you simply just cannot store or want to modify documents on the iPad at 32 or 64G.

People forget that Apple failed to meet sales goals for the iPad 2. So I think it is eceonomy-wide.

Apple failed to meet production goals. They are selling every iPad 2 they can make and still have waits galore for it.

Well that's a good theory except that Dell also announced that they had taken a significant hit to PC sales. I believe it was 8% all together. It's likely a combination of effects 1) down economy/lack of jobs 2) access to computers at work 3) phones that do a large percentage of what people used computers for in the past (e-mail, games, internet) 4) the wait and see on tablets/phones/pc's.

Technology is moving so fast and there's a new phone or tablet coming out almost weekly. Some people are getting burned out, while others are just hesitant because they're afraid they'll miss the iPad3 announcement or buy and then next week ASUS will release a brand new Android tablet with built in margarita blender.

A lot of people I know are putting off upgrading their old laptop or destkop in favor of waiting to see the tablet market stabilize. A guy on my team is a huge ASUS fanboy and has cash in hand for the Transformer but refuses to buy it until October or November because the market is in flux.

These people either hold on to their money or they look for a stable option, one that they trust because it's familiar. Or they go with one they trust because they see a lot of their friends with it (iPad).

If HP can bank on the stability of what they are creating and their brand recognition, they might do well. If they can show the product in relation to other products that people have, then they might do well. That's really where the iPhone and the iPad succeeded is banking off of the familiarity and stability of the iPod. Now they are banking on previous generations of the iPhone and iPad, showing a consistent and stable product line.

Could it just be that their old PC's are doing the job? These tablets don't come close to replacing them. If it can for you then you need to question why you even have a computer.

I know a lot o people who did just that - and got an iPad.

Speaking as a consumer, and not a corporate guy or "professional analyst", i agree with you.

Computers and ipads are luxury items, and can be a bit pricey for the average consumer. Gas prices are sky high, prices of many common groceries are rising, and unemployment is around 9%. So is the ipad impacting PC sales? Im sure it is, but people are having to tighten their belts right now. Many people dont have the 500-600 dollars to spend on a PC or tablet right now, where as they may have had the cash a few years ago, or even a few months ago.

Bottom line, the ipad play a part in the decline of sales, but the not consider the current economic climate as a factor is a bit foolish.

Bah, if HP is known for anything it is playing catch-up and then dominating. There are a number of people who look at the iPad because there is no other viable option. TouchPad will be that other viable option. It'll have a complete and user-friendly OS, premium quality, and a competitive price point.

Take last year's numbers and you recall that HP lead the market in PC sales even when iPad numbers were included. There are still more people buying PCs than iPads. So there is plenty of room for HP to dominate.

How is the TouchPad a viable option when it has almost no apps to speak of and only the flimsiest of ecosystems and services? Honeycomb tablets dwarf the TouchPad in both areas, yet market research shows that people aren't even considering buying them.

And as $500 dollar Android tablets collect dust on the store shelves, we will see a price war break out amoung the serious Android tablet producers. Expect high-quality Android tablets in the $300 dollar range soon, tablets that come complete with huge ecosystems and all the major applications.

The Asus Transformer is $399. Asus is making 7000-8000 a day and cannot keep up. The news just came out today on Boy Genius Report.

The Transformer has far better specs than the Xoom and can transform into a netbook as well.

I'd like to see numbers for other manufacturers. How do their sales look like?
Everytime i talk to someone about HP (inside or out), they're less than impressed. They're quite the lumbering behemoth, plagued by bureaucracy and slow response time, very conservative actions, etc. Obviously they're in a much better place than they were with Killer Carly, but one only need to look at potential innovators in the company, such as Rahul Sood, so see what's going on.
Without even knowing about Rahul, someone the other day, after having been impressed by my phone (Pre+), still wouldn't consider it for his wife due to HP's reputation and image. He notably mention Voodoo, and how they've done nothing with it.

webOS can be a _huge_ driver for HP's sales. They desperately need some differentiation, as these are such commodity markets. However, webOS's going to take a lot of care, feeding and love. After seeing Leo's short-sighted memo from the other day, it's clear that is not possible. It also sounds improbable to "make things right" in that context, unless they already budgeted for that, making it too bad that they didn't do it in the 3 months after the promise. That last part is a knock on Ruby and gang for lack of transparency and follow-thru. Or rather, it will be, because hopefully i'll be proven wrong rendering this prediction moot. I hope so, but i don't see any logical reason to hope, given the track record that continues, even upto the Palm Veer.
le sigh..

It will prove too costly for HP to run a losing platform. They'll pine for the OEM days and probably sooner than you think.

Voodoo became HP's Envy product line and placed them in the high-end desktop and laptop marketplace -- a position they did not have before the acquisition. Technology from Envy has since trickled down into their mainstream products and has served to improve HP's product quality overall. So just because you don't "hear" about Voodoo anymore doesn't mean they disappeared and HP "did nothing" with it.

The corporate Enterprise Strategy WITH the CLOUD technology bundled will overthrow the industry with outside sales people. This is HP WebOS's last chance to make a difference. HP already owns most corporate server farms, why not inject WebOS into it and bundle it with tablets. Otherwise ......

Sadly,I'm eyeing the galaxy tab 10.1. I'm just not confident the webos ecosystem will get the apps a tab needs to thrive. Android will get there IMO. A phone can barely get by for me with what webos offers for apps. A tab cannot.

/SARCASM ON/ - webOS has enough **** apps to stick around... maybe Android has better **** apps. Maybe I'll make the jump too... hmmm /SARCASM OFF/

In my opinion, the thing that makes people enjoy using ipads is simply the 'instant on' functionality. If cheap laptops had webOS as an instant-on option I think they'd appeal a lot more to the masses.

I've lost track of the amount of times I've wanted to quickly check something on a full (non-phone-sized) screen, but thought "I can't be bothered waiting for Windows to boot up". I want to be able to pick up the laptop, open the screen and just type (see what I did there...?).

I think this is where HP are headed if reports are to be believed.

Are they really? Because isn't that "waking from sleep"

I love opening up my ipad, and literally, one half second later, starting to type. It's great.

Who would have thought that would be so cool?? The wake up from sleep from my laptop now is just grindingly slow.

I gotta cheap HP netbook with full Windows 7. It "wakes from sleep" pretty quickly and I'm logging back into Windows within a few seconds. But you got the wrong guy...I don't care about ANY tablet right now.

I think you misunderstand a few things. Your ipad is asleep..not off. Try powering it off and see if it's "instant on."

Windows 8 will improve wake from sleep not that it isn't too shabby now.

The thing that worries me is that a large part of the reason android finally exploded in the US is the iPhones exclusivity on AT&T. Before the first "droid" most of the world knew nothing of android. Now everyone knows (which is probably why Google and big V have become so chummy).

The problem is that can't happen in the tablet world because most of the ones sold aren't attached to a carrier or are already available on multiple carriers. Android took off because it was an iphone for people who couldn't get iphones. Whats to stop someone form getting an ipad if they want it? Lack of flash? -_-

Google of course has the edge because it hs so many android phone users already who will like the idea of interoperability. HP has no such edge and should really push the pre3 and veer for this exact reason.

Apple is a religious cult and is relatively immune from little things like a hosed economy. Windows XP and Windows 7 do a good enough job surfing the web which is what most people do now most of the time on their PC's. It's hard to convince people to upgrade the hardware for their web browser when they can barely afford to put gas in their car.

Most Iphone users i know wouldn't even consider buying an Ipad....they are content with there square phone ....I believe HP in on the right track showing that you can own a webos phone and still feel the need for a tablet....after all the Ipad is just a glorifed PS3 with alot of apps....and most iphone uses know this


@ OCBill -- Surely you jest.

My brother has an iPhone. He wants an iPad. Two coworkers have iPhones. Both want iPads. My wife and I both have Palm Pre's. We like our iPad (I'm saving for a Touchpad :D ).

I love my PS3. I have no clue what it has to do with iPads though.

I love lamp.

You know, this "iPad eats PC sales" thing has been fought by may analysts who this week said that the iPad was NOT having an effect on PC sales. I really don't know what to think, but, as it stands right now, if Android, with its many thousands of applications (albeit with only a few being tablet-optimized), how can webOS possibly compete?

It's amazing - well, stupid, really - how nobody at HP/Palm or Google have been able to replicate Apple's stuff, despite what I presume are floors of analysts dissecting the evil fruit! Let's say you make a smartphone, you hype the heck out of it, it delivers cool toilet sound apps, then you blow up that phone to tablet size, with scaled cool toilet sound apps. Palm and Google just needed to copy and paste. What happened, though?

Palm had an Apple guy at the wheel and came out with what I consider a very cool phone that only partially delivered (I'm a Pre minus, "stood in line on Day 1" owner). Poor build quality and apps very lacking (Flash...ever?!) - but great OS. Two years later - still waiting for the great hardware and still lagging in apps. Worse, we are doubtful whether much of our current apps will even work on the tablet that may be coming out soon.

Google has tons of hardware, powerful and varied, every company makes an Android phone, it seems. Google's app ecosystem is as poopy-noise-tastic as Apple's, every thing imaginable is in there. However, Google is lagging on the OS side, with multiple devices shipping with multiple variations of the OS, and the iPad killing tablet they shipped has to be sent back to the manufacturer for upgrades. Huh?!

HP needs to hit all three, hardware, OS and apps on the TouchPad. I think that only webOS is solid; maybe the hardware, once we get our hands on it, will prove solid, as well. But, apps? Who's out there developing an Enyo-based flatulence ringtone app?! It needs to be done, and ASAP! I have waited two long years (that's twenty Droid years) for a webOS version of Google Sky, and now that the Pre3 adn the TouchPad finally have compasses, we can have it!!

By the power of Greyskull, get on it, developers!!

I think that there are a few reason why HP's consumer business is down. #1-they developed a reputation over the past several years for poor quality. I sell laptops part time and loyal HP customers have been burned by HP's quality slide and are looking elsewhere; #2-the recemt hike in gas prices have hurt their business; #3-the Ipad it is taking a big chunk out of consumer laptop sales. HP needs the TouchPad to succeed more than Mark Hurd ever thought they would.

I hope HP continues to improve their product quality and design. They will need both to effectively compete against Apple.

I usually equate HP with junk as well. I've never actually considered buying a HP computer. I'll look at HP laserjets and that's about it.

No matter how great the TouchPad hardware is, and no matter how great webOS might be as a tablet OS, it's not going to win any mindshare unless they can match the polish of iPad apps. It's not so much about sheer quantity, but they really really need to focus on quality/useability. I am a hardcore webOS lover/fanboy but after seeing the demos of GarageBand and iMovie, I put the TouchPad in the "wait a while and see what HP does with it" mode and bought an iPad2.

I'm constantly blown away by the quality of the apps I've been getting on this thing.. Photogene, GarageBand, iThoughtsHD, FlipBoard.. and the games! Oh god the GAMES! Army Of Darkness tower defense, awesome. Order & Chaos a mobile WoW clone is amazing. Dungeon Hunter 2 HD, a Diablo-esque hack'n'slash.. incredible. The list goes on.

It really is a do-it-all device, and I have yet to find a real weakness. HP has a tough road ahead trying to go up against this thing.. as much as I adore webOS and want to see HP/Palm succeed with the TouchPad, it would take A LOT to get me to leave the iPad2 behind at this point.

Wouldn't the notification system on the iPad be a weakness? Also the UI for multitask switching is not the best.

A weakness, sure but not a killer.

If I have my phone handy, which I always do, I don't want my texts coming to my tablet.

And while multi touch gestures are not out of the box, they are easily to enable and multi task switch beautifully. They will be enabled in a future iOS revision as I understand.

But I'd encourage anyone buying an iPad now, to go ahead and enable them.

@ j_benj -- Agree completely. Love the WebOS thing, but the iOS iPad is an impressive device. I actually don't play any games on it. We use it for documents, textfiles, spredsheets, email, calendar, Shopping lists, ToDo, eReader, travel planning, etc. -- all from the sofa. And it does it for over 10 hrs on a charge and the Apps are amazingly USEFUL.

Like you, I'd like to see a real WebOS success, but iOS+"Apple-hardware" isn't going to make it easy. The bar is high.

It's interesting that in the book, "Crossing The Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products", Richard Hackborn, who worked at HP since 1960 along side Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, and who is responsible for building HP's printer business from nothing, is quoted as saying, "Never attack a fortified hill." Same with beachheads. If some other company got there before you, all the market dynamics that you are seeking to make work in your favor are already working in their favor. Don't go there. Richard Hackborn is no longer with the company. But it's interesting how it seems the wisdom of HP's founders and "The HP Way" have pretty much been forgotten.

Just to expand upon the point of referencing Crossing The Chasm, the author makes the point that for high-tech products, early adopters of a technology are not necessarily the same as the mainstream market, therefore early success does not guarantee market domination. The company who can "cross the chasm" from early adopters to the mainstream market by delivering ease of setup, ease of use, and low cost will typically win.

Many would like to think that the tablet market is new, so maybe there is a chance (even though tablets such as the GridPad have been being sold since 1989). However, with tablet computers, it appears that Apple has already crossed the chasm. Unless HP can undercut Apple on price, which doesn't appear to be possible given Apple's great bargaining with suppliers (Apple is a very savvy competitor), what else can HP do to make the TouchPad more attractive? Is HP counting on bigger distribution channels and the fact that it's not so easy to find and buy an iPad right now? I have no idea what they are thinking. As much as I like webOS, given the huge app catalog that iPad has, the iPad will seem like it will be a much more capable device compared to anything released now. The only weakness I see is that iPad doesn't support Flash and some other media formats. Perhaps HP can market the TouchPad as a "full" web browsing device.

Before the ipad debuted, many envisioned an Apple tablet running some form of their Mac OS.

If i was HP, i'd get in even tighter with Microsoft to make a windows tablet work. Whether it's windows 8 later or not. I haven't seen their windows slate that they abandoned but it sounded much better than this Touchpad.

Microsoft recently went to bed with Nokia and you have to believe this will give Nokia an advantage among WP7 makers.

As the number one PC maker, HP needs to focus on what it does best. HP looks lost in the smartphone business. It doesn't belong there.

iPad is good because of the form factor!
One piece, light, simplified (mouse, keyboard, fan, shell, oVer)
This is why

The biggest advantage WebOS has over Apple in enterprise is HP doesn't rely on itunes for syncing data, updates and media. Possibly already mentioned but I didn't read every comment. I hope the touchpad is a hit

absolutely why I haven't purchased an iPad.
Any app I'd develop for personal or business use must go through the Apple gate, and I pay for it.
Hoping WebOS is better for that.
Android concerns me. The recent article stating 99+% of Android phones leak data, does anyone believe the android tablets are any better?
TouchPad will be a hit if HP puts the umph behind it, and is patient. Otherwise, maybe Micro$oft will have a tablet in a year or so.

msechea, best analysis of the day! I'm not a fan of Apple's 'we know best complex', but I do like the fact that they take the time to make 1-2 products a year and throw all their best into them, that explains a lot about the superior quality of the iphone, ipad etc. Hopefully the time HP spent on the touchpad will pay off in a similar fashion.


[Apotheker] also said, that while PC sales were likely to remain soft for the rest of the year, it won't affect HP's plans to offer new PCs, tablets and smart phones running the company's WebOS operating system.

"On the commercial side, PCs are doing extremely well," Apotheker said. "On the consumer side we believe there will be some continued weakness for another couple quarters, but the PC will remain the main computing device. But we are also very excited about our WebOS devices, in particular the TouchPad, that is still scheduled for this summer."

source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/05/hewlett-packard-ceo-l... **** get-to-the-bottom-of-leaked-memos.html

sick of waiting man... pissed everyday lookin at it n drivin myself crazy, damn u HP!

Read this from HP's website:

HP’s premier client event, HP DISCOVER, takes place June 6 - 10 in Las Vegas and Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 in Vienna, Austria. The event showcases how organizations can get started on their Instant-On Enterprise journeys.

hp getting spanked!

And I will bang the drum you all seem to miss about this. The Nokia play by microsoft also gives them a brand for the rest of the world. Not everyone is a poor chinese peasant. There are lots of non-english people ill served by Palm that happily buy i devices and Android in their native language. I'm really seeing LOTS of people out here in Asia now with smartphones. The i/Android is now controlling global mindshare and every second HP waits is a huge loss I feel. I'm ready for a new device, refuse to do grey market again and import a euro-spec with no warrantee, so will buy either a Galaxy s II or Sensation. I agree with so many posters above that maybe the tablet is something approaching a toy, but dang the (android) Asus Transformer makes slates a more value added experience. I'm not asian, but have had every Palm phone save the 270,755p, and Centro. Here in Asia everyone was wowed when I showed them my palms over the past 8 years...they saw my 180/600 and said "What's that?", I said "Your phone 10 years from now!"...they said "Where can I buy it?", I said I had to import it from **** Noone really cared about my 680, but it's really telling everyone asks if my pre is an iphone (which can be readily bought for 30% more than android here). Good luck selling millions of phones (so you might attract new devs for Enyo) with a few NYC subway cars sharing the spotlight with lady gaga.