Ever since Hewlett-Packard leapfrogged Dell to become the world’s leading PC vendor, it has held onto that position firmly. But according to market research firm IHS iSuppli, HP now faces the “most serious challenge” to its throne in over three years with the emergence of Lenovo as the world’s second-largest PC brand.
Hewlett-Packard's new woman in charge, Meg Whitman, told a French newspaper that it's no easy task deciding what to do with HP's webOS division, but that a decision would be made one way or the other within the next two weeks. Part of what makes the decision so difficult is that there's a team of 600 people working with webOS at HP.
Here’s an amusing follow-up to the “Could Apple Surpass HP As Top PC Vendor In 2012?” article we posted yesterday. In case you missed it, here’s the Cliff Notes version: one analyst says that if you count tablets as PCs, Apple will become the world’s largest PC supplier in 2012. Now a new twist! According to the NPD Research Group, HP sold more tablets than anybody not named “Apple” so far in 2011. Before you get all worked up, that number’s not quite as exciting as it seems.
Hewlett-Packard on Monday announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full fiscal year ended October 31, 2011, and it wasn't as bad as some analysts were expecting. In fact, HP posted a 1 percent year-on-year gain in GAAP net revenue with $127.4 billion. Some would call that mostly flat, others a miracle considering 2011 was the year HP screwed the pooch with its Palm/webOS acquisition and, for a period of time, couldn't seem to figure out what to do with its PC business.
HP’s behavior in 2011 has been, well, erratic, to say the least. (The absolute least.) The PR missteps by the world’s top PC supplier has opened a crack just wide enough for other companies to sneak in and steal HP’s title of king of the PC hill. So which competitor has the gumption to take the top spot? Lenovo recently unseated Dell from the number two position, so it appears to hold the prime position for usurpation. Wrong! says one analyst – who expects Apple to become the global PC leader in in 2012.
Ask Oracle and the company will tell you the only reason Intel hasn't pulled the plug on the Itanium is because Hewlett-Packard is making secret payments to chipzilla to keep the server chip alive. Oracle executives said as much in a recent court filing, which is in response to a larger lawsuit filed by HP accusing Oracle of violating an agreement between the two vendors by announcing back in March it would no longer develop software for Itanium.
Computer system builders like Hewlett-Packard and Dell may look to pull out of the tablet market now that both Amazon and Barnes & Noble cannonballed the shallow end of the pool. Over in the deep end is Apple with its full-size (9.7-inch) iPad line, the only one that seems to be able to stay afloat at the $500 mark and above. Is it worth trying to compete anymore?
If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, Apple should be blushing. That's because Hewlett-Packard went and redesigned its Envy notebooks, which now bear a striking resemblance to the MacBook Pro, only a little sleeker overall, and of course with Windows 7 running the software show. The Envy is now an attractive looking laptop with a black and silver metal-alloy chassis that HP says is durable, and the keyboard has been upgraded with a backlight.
HP went and quietly updated its Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse with a more modern design, added a Facebook button, and has now let the new rodent out of its cage. The new X7000 Wi-Fi Touch Mouse sports the same wireless setup as before and syncs up with your computer's built-in wireless receiver, so there are no wires or USB dongles to mess with.
As we told you earlier, HP is rumored to be preparing to sell off the corpse of webOS to the highest bidder. New in the rumor mill is that HP is preparing for a last-minute all-hands meeting tonight after the markets close. This sort of maneuver usually means bad news, and sources are saying that the company will finally detail what’s going to happen with webOS.