HP Continues to Flip-Flop Over The Future
Recent history at HP continues to frustrate me. Firstly, they were my favourite PC company for plenty of years, and they demonstrated some innovation. When they fired Mark Hurd for improprieties they also seemed to have killed off any vision the company had.
Firstly, they basically destroyed Palm webOS. I was never very excited about Android, but I believed webOS would be solid competition against Apple. I like competition! I like fantastic competition that creatures an environment of innovation. Android never did that for me. While Android developed some features first (like notifications), these features were obvious and simply prioritized differently by Apple.
webOS had taste and style. They did things their own way, while copying the best features from other mobile platforms (Erm, they were inspired by other mobile platforms). Apple’s iOS 7 is likely more inspired by webOS than anything Android ever produced.
What webOS needed was a little more love. Palm sold out to HP in hopes of getting help on the hardware side (I assume), but instead they got an impatient board that wanted to make money now. And instead of releasing a great product, they released a rushed product.
A few years later, HP has decided that there might be some money in smartphones, and they’re not ruling out new products. They call it ‘revisiting smartphones’ as though the future of smartphones was unclear previously.
Hey HP! I have a suggestion for you. You’re either a consumer company (outside of printers), or your’e not. Decide. You can happily make printers and profit from the ink, and otherwise focus on your corporate clients. I’m pretty sure it’s too late to join the consumer marketplace, but if you do, you choked out your decent chance.
When it comes to the smartphone market, HP is being very passive-aggressive. They want to be in it, but they want to be in it with an immediate hit. Sorry, that isn’t going to happen, and your consistent copying of Apple products in your laptop line isn’t helping you (despite your denials).