The PC market is not a very good business to be in right now. Growth is slowing, Windows 8 isn’t helping, and vendors are rehashing old gimmicks in an effort to turn things around. Beyond declining shipment figures and sinking average selling prices (ASPs), there is another number industry watchers keep their eye on that will almost certainly shock people who don’t follow the PC business closely: the amount of money, on average, that PC vendors make for each computer sold. More →
Even though 2013 is almost over, HP is rumored to launch multiple low-cost phablets by the end of the year, The Information reports, in various emerging markets including India, China and the Philippines. While not official, the devices are said to be 6- and 7-inch smartphones that will cost between $200 and $250 without a contract in these countries, as HP attempts to become relevant in the mobile market. Specs and images of these devices are not available at this time, but the devices will likely run Google’s Android mobile operating system, considering that HP already has Android devices in stores. More →
One school in Ireland is seriously regretting its decision to buy tablets from HP. Ireland’s Independent reports that Mountrath Community College has admitted that its decision to replace traditional books with HP ElitePad tablets has been an “unmitigated disaster” after the majority of tablets the school bought experienced a variety of problems including “failing to switch on, tablets spontaneously going into sleep mode, devices looping while performing automatic repairs, system board failures and issues with Wi-Fi.” The school has had to reorder paper books to give its students, who were simply unable to learn as long as they had to depend on malfunctioning HP tablets. HP has said that it’s made providing working tablets for the school a major priority.
HP’s acquisition of Palm was certainly one of worst buys in recent history — not the worst, of course — and now the company is trying to get something back from its $1.2 billion mistake. Bloomberg reports that HP has started removing some of the sales restrictions that it had placed on its mobile patents recently to entice more potential buyers to scoop them up. HP wouldn’t comment on Bloomberg’s report but it certainly makes sense for HP to start unloading some of its webOS-related patents since the company has no ambitions to develop its own mobile platform in the future and will instead rely on both Windows and Android for its tablets going forward.
Stating the obvious doesn’t seem to be a problem for HP CEO Meg Whitman. Barron’s reports that Whitman told analysts on Wednesday that HP has been “a little late to the game” when it comes to making the transition to mobile computing and said that Microsoft and Intel have gone from being longtime partners to “outright competitors.” She also said the company was moving very aggressively to diversify beyond its traditional PC business, which looks more and more like a dead end for the company. More →
Earlier this year, Leap Motion announced its intentions to partner with Hewlett-Packard in order to embed Leap Motion Controllers inside the company’s computers. Six months later, HP has revealed the first computer to come embedded with the gesture-control device — the HP Envy 17 Leap Motion Special Edition. The Leap Motion sensor has been embedded next to the touch pad and is significantly smaller than the standalone controller. More →
It’s been a long time since HP has had any good news but at least one analyst thinks the company’s plan to revive its PC business once Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP next year might be a winner. Barron’s points us to a new research note from Pacific Crest analyst Bren Bracelin, who writes that HP might even grow next year if all goes according to plan. Bracelin figures that the worst must be over for HP’s PC division, which saw a 20% year-over-year drop in sales this past spring, and that the company is well-positioned to expand its market share in India and to hold onto its enterprise sales business in the coming months. All the same, Bracelin only thinks that growth is a best-case scenario for HP and he projects the company’s revenues will still decline by 1.6% in 2014.
It may not mean as much as it did a few years ago, but HP could soon overtake Lenovo to once again become the world’s largest manufacturer of notebooks. Digitimes‘ supply chain sources claim that HP “is expected to see notebook shipments in the third quarter of 2013 increase 15-20% on quarter while Lenovo is expected to see a sequential drop of 7-9%,” which would give HP an overall edge over its Chinese rival in the notebook market. Lenovo has been the only PC vendor to actually perform reasonably well this year as the shrinking PC market has badly hurt OEMs such as HP, Acer and Dell.
Fresh off Google’s announcement that it will launch a Textbook section in its Play store, a new report claims HP is planning a low-cost tablet to target the back-to-school crowd. According to Digitimes, HP and Walmart will partner to sell a $99 Android tablet in the coming weeks. The device is said to be equipped with a 7-inch display and a single-core Intel Medfield processor. HP will be the first major vendor to release a sub-$100 tablet, which some industry insiders believe could pressure other companies to follow suit. The low-end specs, however, will make HP’s new tablet a harder sell than devices like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire. Google on Wednesday announced that it has partnered with the five largest textbook publishers — Cengage, Wiley, Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Macmillan – to allow customers to buy or rent discounted digital textbooks. The company’s new education hub will launch in August.
Leaked image, specs may reveal HP’s first Android smartphone, which looks just like an iPhone [updated]
Hewlett-Packard executive Su-yin Yam recently insisted HP is working on a new smartphone that will offer truly compelling differentiation compared to the current crop of devices on the market. Yam didn’t give any indication as to when such a device might launch, however, and CEO Meg Whitman noted late last year that HP likely won’t debut a smartphone in 2013. A new image published by PhoneArena supposedly reveals a new Android smartphone in the works at HP, however, suggesting that a device might launch sooner than we thought. Not much can be gleaned from the leaked image beyond what looks to be stock Android and a design that looks suspiciously like an iPhone 5, but a subsequent post from the blog claims to reveal the device’s specs. More →
The mobile market is brutally competitive but that isn’t stopping HP from insisting that it will release its own smartphone sometime in the future. Business Insider reports that Su-yin Yam, the senior director of HP’s consumer business in the Asia-Pacific region, said this weekend that HP is biding its time and waiting for the perfect moment to strike with a smartphone that truly differentiates the company from its competitors. Yam claimed that HP is studying all the current offerings in the smartphone market and is trying to figure out what it can offer that other vendors don’t. And while Yam wouldn’t commit to giving a timetable to launch, she did say that HP “has to be in the game” in the smartphone market so it seems that an HP smartphone is a matter of “when” more than “if.”
Microsoft released its Windows 8.1 preview to the public on Wednesday and it remains to be seen how users will respond. As it turns out, however, the PC industry may be poised to slow its current slide regardless of whether or not Microsoft’s big software update manages to drum up some excitement. According to unnamed industry sources speaking with Digitimes, PC chip suppliers are expected to see shipments pick up in the third quarter as vendors prepare to launch new notebook computers powered by Intel’s Haswell chipsets. The report claims PC makers are expecting sales to improve in the U.S. and China beginning in the third quarter, and component suppliers including Richtek Technology, Global Mixed-mode Technology, Elan Microelectronics and Egalax-empia Technology will begin to see revenue increase significantly beginning this month as orders ramp up.
In effort to reverse eroding PC sales, HP on Monday announced a new 21.5-inch Android tablet that will be marketed as an all-in-one desktop. The Slate 21 AIO is equipped with a full HD IPS display, a quad-core Tegra 4 processor and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The device is compatible with a mouse and keyboard, and also includes a kickstand that allows it to be propped up at a 30-degree angle. The Slate 21 AIO will be available in September starting at $399. HP’s press release follows below. More →