On August 18th, HP announced that it was killing off its webOS devices business and considering a possible spin-off of its personal systems group (PSG). The head of HP’s PC business, executive vice president Todd Bradley, discussed the TouchPad and his company’s PC business with Reuters, explaining that a spin-off could be the “best value” for HP’s investors instead of an outright sale to competitors such as Acer or Lenovo. “Regardless of what happens, we’re the largest PC company in the world,” Bradley explained. “We need everybody energized, and while this isn’t business as usual, we need people to go out and sell products every day,” he said, noting that HP will still remain a major customer to suppliers such as LG, Microsoft, Intel and Samsung. At least one analyst has remarked that a spin-off could kill HP’s brand value. Even more surprising, however is Bradley’s remarks about HP’s TouchPad, which the company recently discontinued and sold off in a fire sale. According to Reuters, Bradley said HP may resurrect the TouchPad and noted that the tablet computing segment is “relevant, absolutely.” While Bradley appears to be standing by HP, BGR exclusively reported on August 22nd that the executive is looking to leave the company for a CEO role at another firm. More →
Oh nooo. That was the first thought that crossed my mind as I began to read Jon Zilber’s post on HP’s company blog. Quoting Mark Twain? Oh no he didn’t. In a nutshell, Zilber’s intent was to correct the world’s press, which collectively played Taps while standing over webOS’s grave this past week. “To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports about the demise of webOS have been off the mark,” Zilber wrote. “HP has made these tough decisions to ensure that our efforts with webOS remain tightly focused. Far from burying webOS, our goal is to ensure the platform’s evolution as a robust operating system for an increasingly mobile and connected world.” OK, time to set the record straight. Read on for more.
During its roller coaster of an earnings call on Thursday evening, Hewlett-Packard confirmed that it will take a huge charge as a result of the TouchPad’s poor sell-through rate at retailers. The company said on its earnings call that the TouchPad would result in a charge of $0.05 per share. With just over 2.07 billion public shares outstanding according to HP’s investor relations website, the total charge will come to more than $103 million. Even more costly, we’re afraid, could be the damage done to HP’s brand image in the eyes of customers who have purchased HP products in recent months. Of course this damage could be limited by the fact that HP might not be in the PC business much longer either, though it is unclear if a spun off PC division would continue to carry some kind of HP branding, or if it would instead opt for something fresh and new (like Compaq, perhaps).
Sixteen months following Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of Palm and just two months after launching the first webOS tablet, HP is giving up. The decision to axe webOS certainly wasn’t made lightly, and numerous factors undoubtedly contributed to the tech giant’s ultimate decision to put an end to its efforts with the TouchPad and other webOS hardware. Near the top of HP’s list, however, was likely the tablet’s sell-through rate. A report from earlier this week claimed that Best Buy, the nation’s top consumer electronics retailer, couldn’t even sell 10% of its TouchPad inventory despite a huge advertising campaign and a $100 price drop. But did HP jump the gun? A new Best Buy promotion might reveal what could have been a great way to move that TouchPad inventory: give it away. Beginning Saturday, customers who purchase a $1,500 Samsung 3D HDTV, model UN46D6900W, will get a free Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet with their purchase. Coincidentally, Best Buy also carries a $1,500 HP ENVY 2070nr Core i7 laptop, and what better way to boost those sell-through numbers than to hand TouchPads out with purchases like ketchup packets at a ballpark? Best Buy’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 deal will run for one week, ending on the 27th.
HP reported its third quarter 2011 results on Wednesday, missing the Street’s estimates considerably. Net revenues of $31.2 billion were up from the 30.7 billion HP reported during the same quarter in 2010 and also up from the $31.6 billion the company reported during the second quarter. The figures are in line with HP’s guidance of $31.1 billion to $31.3 billion for the third quarter but below the Street’s consensus of $34 billion. EPS also missed; HP expects between $1.12 and $1.16 while the Street expected $1.31. The company confirmed that it will discontinue operations for its webOS devices, likely after a lukewarm reception to the TouchPad in the United States and abroad. Following the tablet’s launch the company quickly dropped its price by $100 and Best Buy’s sell-through rate was rumored to be below 10%. HP’s Pre3 smartphone, which is now on sale in Europe, has yet to make a debut in the United States and it’s unclear if it will ever launch here. HP said it estimates revenue of $32.1 billion to $32.5 billion for the fourth quarter. The company originally said it estimated its full year 2011 revenue to be $129 billion to $130 billion but now says revenues will likely fall between $127.2 billion and $127.6 billion. Read on for the full press release. More →
Woh. HP on Thursday announced that it is putting an abrupt end to its efforts with webOS. The company says it will “discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.” The news comes just ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report. HP also confirmed that it may spin off its PC business and that it is currently in talks with Autonomy regarding “a possible business combination,” as was reported earlier on Thursday. HP acquired the webOS platform in 2010 as part of its $1.2 billion Palm buy. Since then, the company has launched a single tablet, the TouchPad, and two smartphones, the HP Pre2 and the HP Veer. The company’s full press release follows below.
Following weeks one and two of Qualcomm and BGR’s Snapdragon giveaway, six lucky BGR readers are now proud owners of six awesome Snapdragon-powered devices. Now we’re back for the third and final week of this awesome giveaway series, and we’ve got three brand new devices ready that fall into Qualcomm’s Snapdragon System 3 category, offering up to 1.5GHz dual-core CPUs, Adreno 220 GPUs, HSPA+ support, 1080p recording support, Dolby 5.1 surround sound support and support for stereoscopic 3D, as evidenced by one of this week’s devices in particular. That’s right ladies and gents, this week we’re giving away one HTC EVO 3D (Sprint), one HTC myTouch 4G Slide (T-Mobile) and one HP TouchPad tablet.
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Readers may enter this portion of the giveaway up to twice, once by commenting beneath this post and once by following @BGR on Twitter and retweeting this post. The third leg of our three-week giveaway will run from now through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 23rd. The giveaway is open to legal residents of the United States only, and you must be at least 18-years-old to enter. No purchase is necessary, and all devices and shipping costs will be free to contest winners. Winners will be selected randomly, contacted directly by BGR staff, and devices will be paired with winners at random. Phone service is not included.
While the timing is curious to say the least, AllThingsD on Tuesday evening issued a report claiming to reveal terrible, terrible sales of HP’s virgin webOS tablet at nationwide retail giant Best Buy. According to the blog, Best Buy took delivery of 270,000 TouchPads following the slate’s release last month. Since then, the retailer has managed to sell just 25,000 units to end users despite HP’s huge celebrity-laden advertising campaign. That’s a sell-through rate of less than 9.3%. To make matters even worse, these figures come after HP has lowered the price of the tablet to just $399.99 for the 16GB version. Best Buy is so unhappy, the report says, that it refuses to pay for the tablets and instead wants HP to take them back. An HP executive is scheduled to visit Best Buy’s headquarters in the near future to discuss the matter, the report says. AllThingsD’s claims came just two days ahead of HP’s quarterly earnings report, which is scheduled to be issued today after market close. More →
While Apple’s iPad continues on its warpath, other tablet makers are not finding it quite as easy to offload their Android and Windows slates — which is understandable, considering they’re doing it wrong. While Apple managed to ship 9.25 million iPads last quarter and some retailers are still having trouble keeping inventory in stock, other consumer tablet vendors are reportedly having a difficult time pushing their wares past retail channels and into the hands of end users. Even the success stories among tablet vendors are exhibiting less-than-stellar sell-through, with companies like ASUS, creator of the popular Eee Pad Transformer, said to have left nearly 30% of the 700,000 tablets it shipped between May and July on store shelves. As a result, tablet vendors like Samsung, Motorola and HP will be forced to lower their prices in an effort to bolster weak sales, DigiTimes reports. HP has already offered two limited-time sales on its TouchPad tablet since it launched just last month, and now the company has permanently shaved $100 from its tablet’s price tag. Motorola also recently lowered the price of its XOOM tablet, leaving the 32GB model priced evenly with Apple’s 16GB iPad. DigiTimes says its sources are anticipating two more waves of tablet price cuts this year, one in September and another approaching the holiday season. More →
HP’s TouchPad Go was recently approved by the the Federal Communications Commission, which revealed some information on the unannounced tablet. The webOS device could be equipped with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and a 3G radio, which would indicate HP is looking to launch it with at least one U.S. carrier. We first heard word of a 7-inch TouchPad tablet in January of this year and the most recent rumors revealed that HP could launch the device this month. It is possible we’ll hear more about the TouchPad Go in the coming days, and we hope it gains more consumer traction than the original TouchPad, which just had its priced slash by $100 to make it more appealing. More →
Last week, Woot dropped the price of HP’s webOS-powered TouchPad tablet to just $379.99, the lowest price the tablet had seen yet. Despite such an attractive offering, only 612 people purchased the tablet during the Woot sale on August 5th. That’s roughly 25% of the 2,288 Motorola XOOM tablets Woot sold in a single day last month. We suspect HP has struggled to attract consumers because it took 140 days to deliver the device to market — a lengthy time frame that certainly watered down consumer interest. It also probably also doesn’t help that HP has struggled to bring the Pre3, which can share websites seamlessly with the TouchPad using Touchstone, to store shelves. Perhaps the 1.5GHz processor-packing 4G version due to hit AT&T later this year will fare better. In the meantime, HP officially cut the price of the TouchPad to $399.99 for the 16GB version and $499.99 for the 32GB model following a sale that was initially advertised as ending earlier this week. More →
The HP TouchPad 4G with HSPA+ support is now available for pre-order from Amazon. The online retailer doesn’t give a specific launch date and instead says “this item has not yet been released,” and that customers “may pre-order it now and [Amazon] will deliver it to you when it arrives.” The TouchPad made its debut on July 1st as a Wi-Fi only device with a 1.2GHz processor. In our review we said the device was “just good” and that its software needed a “shot of adrenaline.” However, AT&T’s upcoming version will sport a faster 1.5GHz processor, the aforementioned HSPA+ support and HP’s latest webOS 3.0.2 software. Amazon is currently listing the TouchPad 4G for $699.99, which means you’ll be paying a big premium for 4G, but that’s also probably before any AT&T’s subsidies. More →
While HP holds a $100-off sale of its own from Friday through Sunday, the product peddlers over at Woot managed to procure an unknown number of webOS tablets on Friday, and it’s offering them at a big discount. Woot is currently selling the 16GB HP TouchPad tablet — new, not refurbished — for $379.99. Tack on the site’s customary $5 shipping and you’re still saving $15 compared to the lowest price we’ve seen for the slate. We reviewed the HP TouchPad back in June and we found that while webOS was a pleasure to use on a large-form device, the hardware was lacking. More →