So now that Hewlett Packard (HP) wants to move away from PCs, what’s next? Well, HP has a number of other plates on their table, but from the outside they appear unorganized. Which PC manufacturers can take their place or least benefit from HP’s departure? Too soon to tell, but we look at the options.
If you follow our blog, then you already know about HP’s decision to move on from PCs and focus more on cloud based and software service technologies. The decision was breaking news and came at a time when HP was announcing third quarter earnings. The details of how the company could accomplish that task are lacking, with a quote from HP’s CEO stating, “..all options are on the table..”. For now HP has made the decision to buy Autonomy, a British enterprise software company. The move is intended to push their new focus forward.
If you’re an HP PC owner and there’s a good chance you are since they are the number one retailer in the world, then you may be worried about support or warranty. HP says any move will take a good 12-18 months to complete. Others who are in the market for a new PC will undoubtedly look at other options, assuming they are aware of HP’s recent announcement.
What about HP’s printer division? Printers go hand in hand with PCs and continue to sell well with consumers who purchase new computers. There has been no mention about what is to become of the printer division.
Additionally, HP announced the end of the TouchPad, HP’s iPad competitor. The TouchPad really never took off and sold poorly while holding a price point similar to the iPad. All-in-all it was a good decision to shut it down, but is remembered as another failure by the company. Another victim is webOS. Initially a key asset for HP when they acquired Palm, webOS development and production for devices is slated for end in the final quarter of the year.
With all the movement and shakeup coming from the conference call, it sounds like HP has a clear vision of what they want to accomplish. The trouble is that it isn’t so clear to everyone else. Financially, the moves are costly for a company that has seen revenue slide from lack of PC sales. Add to that the lofty competition they are aiming at, mainly IBM and Oracle, and the inner politics that have been plaguing the company, it’s hard to say HP looks like a solid organization. We’ll have to wait and see where the chips fall on this one.
Who Can Replace HP As #1?
That is a question that will be answered with time. If HP ceased to exist right now, you’d likely see companies like Dell and Acer profit from their demise. Dell is the obvious choice based on brand recognition. Consumers likely will look to them as the go to choice and move outwards from there. What if HP decides to sell its PC assets? That will make things interesting. Possible suitors could include Acer or Samsung. Acer has been steadily gaining market share with their inexpensive options while Samsung is looking to expand their current offerings.
There are many reasons to be interested in this story. Will HP survive as a company? We think so, although likely a shell of what it once was. Who will be the new leader in PC sales? Until a final decision is made on HP’s PC business that is a hard one to answer. Short term we will put our faith in Dell to take the reigns, but with an acquisition of HP’s PC business by Acer the hold will quickly slip away. What is to become of HP printers? For now it looks like they will roll on as if nothing has changed. Printers can sell without PCs, but the amount of sales will suffer. It may be some time before a printer move is made.
The most intriguing question in our mind is what this means to the PC business as a whole. Our minds aren’t entirely made up, but we have some interesting thoughts on the topic.
Check back with us this week for an overview and opinion on where PC’s go from here. You can read the follow up in our ‘End Of The PC Era?‘ Editorial.
What do you think about the HP news and announcement? Do you think HP is moving in the right direction? Let us know your thoughts on anything dealing with HP in the comments!