HP on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Adrian Jones, the company’s former head of enterprise sales for the Asia region, to stop him from sharing hundreds of documents he allegedly stole before leaving the company and joining his current employer, Oracle. HP said it had planned to fire Jones earlier this year after having launched an investigation into his expense reports and his alleged relationship with another HP employee who worked beneath him. Jones left the company, however, and HP alleges that he took hundreds of confidential documents, emails and various customer records with him on a USB drive. In the lawsuit, HP calls for the return of all data and seeks damages resulting from the theft of trade secrets. The allegations of fraudulent expenses and inappropriate behavior with a subordinate are strikingly similar to those made against against former CEO Mark Hurd before he was forced to resign last year. Like Jones, Hurd now holds an executive role at Oracle. More →
Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday reported its earnings for the first quarter of the company’s 2011 fiscal year, which ended on January 31st. Revenue missed Wall Street’s expectations slightly, coming in at $32.3 billion versus the Street’s projected revenue of between $32.75 and $33.59 billion. Earnings per share was up an impressive 26% year-over-year to $1.17, but it still missed the Street’s expectation of between $1.26 and $1.32 per share. Cash flow from operations was up 28% year-over-year, however, and profit was up 16% to $2.6 billion. “I’m pleased with our EPS and margin expansion during the quarter. Going forward, we have the opportunity to further capitalize on our customers’ demands for higher value-added solutions,” said HP’s CEO Léo Apotheker in a statement. “HP has a powerful portfolio, including exciting, recently announced cloud and connectivity offerings. We are focused on leveraging these strengths to extend our leadership and accelerate growth.” HP lowered its full-year revenue forecast from between $131.5 and $133.5 billion to between $130 and $131.5 billion. Hit the break for HP’s full press release. More →
Hewlett-Packard’s first webOS-powered tablet will launch this April, a new report claims. Industry watcher DigiTimes cites sources from within HP’s component suppliers in stating that manufacturers will begin shipping the TouchPad by the end of March. The TouchPad, which will launch with webOS 3.0, will then be ready for release some time in April. The report goes on to estimate that HP intends to sell between 4 and 5 million TouchPad units and between 45 and 48 million notebook computers and tablet PCs combined in 2011. HP has not provided any specific information in terms of a launch date or pricing for the TouchPad, which we got up close and personal with earlier this month. More →
Just one week after the nation’s No. 1 carrier finally unleashes its iPhone 4 on the world, Verizon Wireless may have another handset launch waiting in the wings. Granted, with HP’s webOS event less than a week away and the possibility of exciting new tablets and smartphones dancing through our heads, it’s not easy to get excited about an incremental upgrade from last year’s debut webOS phone. Granted, the Palm Pre 2 offers some nice improvements over its predecessor, such as a faster processor, a glass screen and the new webOS 2.0 operating system — but you’ll forgive us if a 3.1-inch display and that teeny tiny QWERTY keypad don’t exactly get our engines revving here in 2011. On the other hand, we do absolutely love the webOS operating system and $99.99 is a fair price point for Palm’s latest phone, especially if there’s a BOGO sale involved. If the screen shot above pans out, expect Verizon to finally let this little guy loose on February 17th. More →
Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker spoke with the BBC during the World Economic Forum in Davos, shedding new light on the company’s plans for webOS over the next two months. Moving forward, the HP boss claims the gap between product announcements and launches will shrink substantially. In fact, we should expect webOS devices to launch “within weeks” of next month’s event on February 9th. Of note, Apotheker says that upcoming devices will be HP-branded so we might soon have to say goodbye to the Palm name when it comes to webOS devices. Looking beyond February, HP will have another major announcement coming on March 14th, when the company will detail its “vision of what HP is capable of in the future.” We have to say, we’re now more excited than ever to see what might come when Palm’s silky smooth webOS platform is finally slipped into the top-notch hardware it deserves. More →
The NYT has an interesting article up about the iPad — no, it is not about how great it is. The iPad may prove to be the catalyst for what was previously a struggling market… the tablet. The tablet PC never really excited consumers the way manufacturers had hoped. Flimsy hinges, sub-par software, and a lack of device sex appeal were largely to blame for the floundering sales figures. What will the new tablet look like? First, scratch the name. Tablets were so 2002; the new set of devices are called slates, or even *shudder* pads. They no longer have awkward hinges, they probably won’t have a physical keyboard, and they definitely won’t have a standard desktop operating system shoe-horned onto them. They will be, like it or not, more iPad-like. Sleeker, sexier, cheaper, and more well received than before.