Oops, they did it again

I’ve been quite surprised this morning to read in the news that HP is thinking about giving up its PC business, shifting its core to business services and products (cloud computing, mostly). You can find a good report of Mr. Apotheker’s interview (Leo Apotheker is HP CEO) on The New York Times. I mean, for many of us (for me, at least), HP is a brand strictly connected with PCs and printers. Actually, the last notebook I bought was an HP.

If you look carefully at some facts, the announcement is yet more “dramatic”. Last year HP acquired Palm to break through into tablets and smartphones business. In July 2011 HP has launched its own TouchPad Tablet. At the beginning of August 2011 HP has placed a permanent $100 discount on its Tablet. And now, HP decides to completely move its business away from PC, furthermore announcing that they will stop manufacturing the TouchPad Tablet which apparently has not met the financial milestones Mr. Apotheker has set.

This is quite a revolution in the PC market. And it’s easy to say that behind this revolution you can spot the happy and smiling face of Steve Jobs.

Just yesterday, Best Buy announced that due to the fact that the sales of non-Apple Tablets have been dismal, customers who buy a 46-inch 3D Samsung HDTV TV will also get a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. They are trying to get rid of some of these devices in order to avoid excess stock in their stores. Best Buy also complained about the sales of HP TouchPad Tablet: they bought 270.000 devices, they sold less than 25.000.

This year Apple has taken the lead of the mobile PC market. In the second quarter Apple shipped 13.6 million mobile PC units (more than 20% of the whole market), 80% of which were iPads. The sales of tablets has grown more than 400% since the second quarter of 2010, showing an heavy shift toward tablets in the mobile PC market. 65% of this sales are iPads. And who suffered more this situation? HP, of course.

I’ve been skeptical, to say the least, when Apple launched iPad. I remember my first thought was: “How could something too big to be a phone and too small to be a notebook be useful to people?”. Than I bought one to replace my Dell Mini-PC and now I simply can’t do without it. Last week a friend of mine came to visit me for holiday. He used to mock me when I bought the iPad. He tried my iPad, and during the seven days he spent in my home I could barely use it, since it was always with him (as far as I know, he is now trying to buy an used one).

They did it again. As with the iPod, as with the iPhone, now with the iPad. Apple did understand what people want before they do event want it. You may love Apple or you may hate it. But you must admit they have an incredible sense for business. Nicely done, Mr. Jobs.

  1. September 27th, 2011

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