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HP: Apple may overtake us in 2012, webOS decision in 2 weeks

updated 11:25 am EST, Wed November 30, 2011

HP sees Apple with chance of becoming tops

Apple could overtake HP in the computing space in 2012, HP chief Meg Whitman said in a new interview late Tuesday. Referring to a Canalys estimate that had Apple as the top computer builder next year if the iPad was included, she told France's Le Figaro that it was possible. The company would try to get back to the top spot in 2013, but Whitman herself was so recent that her impact wouldn't be felt for some time.

"Apple has made an incredible effort," she said. "We need to improve our game and our products to retake the leadership position."

On webOS, the CEO hinted that the delayed decision on the the group was itself still on track and would be settled within the next two weeks. It "wasn't an easy decision" with 600 jobs on the line, she said. WebOS tablets were still dead, Whitman emphasized, but HP would "come back" in earnest in 2012 with its Windows 8 tablets.

She took a pragmatic approach to the future of tablets that was more sympathetic to Microsoft's absolutist PC point of view but left the door open. Tablets were still primarily for apps and media consumption, and you "couldn't" use productivity apps, the executive said. In spite of contrary evidence, most of HP's studies showed that it was a secondary purchase and wasn't treading on PCs. However, she admitted it was an "important domain" for HP and thought it was only incomparable to a PC "at the moment."

The company has had a troubled history in tablets. It first trusted Microsoft with the Slate 500's direction in the hopes of having a preemptive iPad rival but, after Apple's success, quickly shunted the Slate from its ambitions in the home to Windows tablets' usual small niche of enterprise workers. A decision to buy Palm was spurred by wanting an equivalent to the iPad using webOS, but delays and a poor reaction led to the resulting HP TouchPad being killed just six weeks into its life. The Slate 2 is limited to the same audience as its predecessor.

by MacNN Staff



  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    have a good laugh

    This tool thinks AAPL is a bubble ready to burst and is worth little more than its cash per share ($85)

  1. ozoner

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And this has exactly what to do with HP and Meg Whitman???

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    relevant in that even Macintosh computers + iPads are no longer a small 3% to 5% of the PC market, and Apple is preparing to overtake the #1 PC manufacturer... and here's a tool who thinks Apple hasn't accomplished anything in the last several years.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't blame Meg

    Re: "...WebOS tablets were still dead, Whitman emphasized..."

    WebOS is too good to kill off. Blame Apotheker-era HP for being too clueless to understand that fact. (As for spinning off the PC business, well, maybe Lenovo is looking for more production capacity...)

    Re: "...but HP would "come back" in earnest in 2012 with its Windows 8 tablets."

    That would be at least a year from now, and a year is an eternity in the mobile space. In late 2012, Microsoft is going to add a layer of Metro fluff on top of the same old Windows experience. An experience that hasn't changed since the 1990s, Microsoft's golden age.

    So Meg thinks that Windows 8 will move more tablet PCs than Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, plus Windows Vista (except for the Home Basic and Starter editions), plus Windows 7 (except for the Starter Edition)? And she thinks that there will be more than zero demand for ARM-based tablet PCs running the ARM port of Windows 8?

    Get your golden parachute in order Meg. You might need it in the spring of 2013. The sad thing being, of course, that none of this dumpster fire of a mobile disaster is actually her fault.

  1. thnikkaman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I hope they don't kill off WebOS. It's interface, as far as I could tell from experience, was nearly as good (and intuitive) as Apple's, unlike a certain copycatting green robot. It's a shame it's ended up the way it is.

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Jesus .....

    and here I'm thinking that Ballmer is a bad leader, and Microsoft is in the popper ..... man .... look at HP !!! They're like a big worm, with their head cut off, wondering the streets. Nobody at HP has a clue or a sense of direction ... including the CEO !!! This is such a drastic downturn, since Mark Hurd. I can't believe it.

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