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HP concedes to Apple: 'the tablet effect is real'

updated 05:25 pm EDT, Thu August 18, 2011

HP validates rumors of TouchPad sales

HP as part of its spinoff talk for PCs made an uncommon remark that the iPad had fundamentally changed its business. CEO Leo Apotheker said that tablets were directly responsible for the company looking to possibly exit consumer PCs. The process would take 12 to 18 months, but the company was considering a shift now with neither the TouchPad nor traditional PCs providing an immediate fix.

"There is a clear movement in the consumer PC space," Apotheker said. "The tablet effect is real. The TouchPad is not gaining enough traction in the marketplace. Our PC business needs the flexibility to make its own decisions."

He added that webOS' hardware shutdown would wrap up in the fall.

The company's CFO commented that it had made a "bet" on webOS and had set targets for it to sell well. It had planned to make webOS the second-strongest platform in tablets behind Apple. Long-term support would have needed five years' worth of investment without a clear reward, HP said. Even with price parity or better, it was clear the TouchPad wasn't going to reach that target.

The VP for Worldwide webOS Developer Relations, Richard Kerris, hinted on Twitter that the company would be looking at a direct selloff of webOS, not just a license. "Now we can explore the best hardware partner for it," he said.

The statement on PCs is effectively a warning shot to Microsoft. The Windows developer has tried to take an optimistic view regarding the iPad and other non-Windows tablets, calling it a "PC-plus era" and often suggesting that the perceived effect was exaggerated. Now, however, it faces the prospect of its most important partner both acknowledging the iPad as being responsible for steep PC declines and getting rid of its PC business, casting doubt on its future.

Other companies have faced the effect so far, most notably Acer and ASUS. Both have seen sharp dropoffs in sales as their netbook and low-end notebook sales fell off sharply. Both are reorganizing and focusing more of their mobile efforts around tablets, but neither has yet to see their first products completely offset declines in PCs.

by MacNN Staff



  1. viktorob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPad + one?

    So, what happened to "If the iPad is #1, Our Tablet will be #1 plus 1"
    It is funny to see every single CEO who laugh o undervalued the iPhone and the iPad. Where are they, what is their opinion now?

  1. lvavila

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A consumer's point of view..

    Stop reacting, stop putting out c***, stop cutting corners, stop releasing product before its COMPLETE, stop using old outdated technology/methods and call it new, more usb ports and a Flash capable device does not guarantee a better product and don't assume your competitor doesn't know what it's doing. You have a great piece of code called webos, think outside the box and innovate something great.

  1. facebook_David

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011


    Re: "tablet effect"


    "...the *iPad* effect is real..."

  1. LunarMoon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    what the competition don't realize is that iPad is not a device, it is a content holder. They are copying the wrong stuff.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The two above posts say it all. Listen to the consumer instead of telling them what they should accept. The difference with Apple is that they agonize, prioritize, and deal with a great platform and the they launch the project, do lots of R&D. MS "assuming their competitor (Apple) doesn't know what it's doing, has been proven more wrong than ever right. In fact, when was their last "right?" Apple does not put out ANYTHING totally "new" in a short period of time... so why should that approach work for the wannabes?

  1. ludachrs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HP folds

    Google All In.

  1. ershler

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HP's ads were terrible

    I always thought that HP's ads were terrible. It was all games and movies, movies and games. I never saw any ads about any useful apps, just entertainment stuff. Were any "serious" apps ever written for the Touch? If there were any, HP made a serious mistake by not advertising them. All then HP ads that I have seen seemed to be aimed a fairly limited (dare I say niche?) demographic.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Jeff

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011


    Dump WebOS, Insert Android...

    Why does HP think they can bring a new OS to the market and expect it to fly. HP take them all back and put Honeycomb on them, problem solved.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    There is no "tablet effect"

    There is only the "iPad effect."

    LunarMoon nailed it. Sure, it's easy to build a tablet computer. It's even pretty easy to directly copy iPad (like Samsung did.) But that's just the first tiny little baby step.

    The hardware is just an empty frame. Just a box to showcase the OS and apps. Barely the tip of the user experience iceberg. And without a massive software infrastructure below the surface, you're dead in the water. The integrated software infrastructure is the hardest thing to copy, because it takes many years to develop.

    That's the real iPad effect. Apple has leveraged iTunes, iPod, iPhone, App Store, and now iPad into a massive juggernaut. It took 10 years. That's how far behind everyone else is.

  1. facebook_Charlie

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011


    More than tablets

    They also cannot compete with modern computers.

    HP PC bites the dust.

    Dell next. Then Microsoft.
    Apple used to be the most expensive (Wives Tail).
    Now they are the least expensive. The computer builders simply cannot build clones of Apple at a cheaper cost.
    It is all Technology
    Apple first bought LCD technology eight years ago.
    Since then they have invested in:
    1) Super strength aluminum metals.
    2) One piece aluminum milling machines.
    3) Form fitting layered batteries.
    4) Low power multi-thread processor chips.
    5) Hardware and software optimized architectures.
    Whether iPads or computers the costs for the same features cannot be beat even with zero margins by the rush to the bottom competitors.
    Plug and play parts in plastic ugly containers simply will not sell.
    Microsoft will be next.
    Microsoft is stopping support for Windows XP so that corporations (50 percent of who still use the old computers) will be forced to buy new computers.
    Sorry, at least half of them will buy the new better and lower cost Apple computers.
    All the creative companies already do.
    Just Saying

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