The Risk Is Too Great: HP Terminates Its PC and Consumer Electronics Business

HP’s Q3 earnings call last week was, in a word, a doozy.  CEO Leo Apotheker announced that HP–the largest PC manufacturer in the world–would essentially exit the PC and consumer electronics markets, and focus its efforts on high-margin data analytics services (an announcement that’s more than vaguely reminiscent of IBM’s 2004 decision to sell off its PC division).   Specifically, HP plans on divesting itself of its PC division within the next 12-18 months, and has announced plans to acquire datacenter analytics firm Autonomy Corporation for $11 billion.  While HP’s Personal Systems Group (the company’s internal name for its PC and CE operations) will live on in some form or another, it appears that HP’s WebOS experiment has officially drawn to a close, as Apotheker explains that they “have decided to shut down operations around webOS devices and [will] be exploring strategic alternatives to optimize the value of the software platform and development capability.” Read More

Are Tablet Price Wars Brewing?

With Apple continuing to dominate the tablet market, it was probably only a matter of time before other manufacturers began to slash their tablet prices in an effort to increase market share. While this would be the logical response to the iPad’s category-crushing success, other tablet manufacturers have thus far refrained from engaging in price wars with Apple, likely because the iPad’s success has driven up tablet component costs for everyone else in the industry. Manufacturers have been jumping into the tablet game in large part because they want to emulate Apple’s 25% profit margin on the iPad, but since they’re paying higher component prices than Apple, cutting retail prices would thwart the very reason they got into the tablet game in the first place. Read More

Look Out: HP TouchPad coming July 1st!

Unfortunately for business owners trying to decide between Apple’s bestselling iPad, one of the many Android tablets now on the market, or RIM’s PlayBook, a strong new contender in the tablet market is about to arrive: HP’s TouchPad will be hitting store shelves on July 1st at $499 for the Wi-Fi only base model with 16GB of storage, or $599 for an upgraded 32GB.

The TouchPad will be running the latest version of webOS, technology, which is what HP hopes will set it apart from the competition by offering a seamless multi-tasking experience, the Adobe Flash Player, and promises of tight-knit integration with the forthcoming Pre3 smartphone.

Pre-orders for the device begin in a mere 10 days on June 19th, and you can check out HP’s press release and our previous coverage for more details. According to the press release, A 3G version through AT&T seems to be in the works as well.

Contract-free 3G Data on your Laptop without a Contract: Introducing HP Data Pass

A small business owner or an entrepreneur operating on a budget can’t simply sign up for an unlimited data plan. The costs add up quick unless you know that you’re going to be constantly on the go. For those who only occasionally need 3G data on the go, DataPass-enabled laptops from HP provide a way to get 3G Internet access only when you need it.

Several HP laptops come with the technology necessary to take advantage of DataPass, which required both the 3G hardware and the latest version (4.1) of the HP Connection Manager software. New HP laptops are bundling the technology required for DataPass, including the ProBook 5330m we recently highlighted on the site, as well as newer models in the EliteBook line.

Pricing is very reasonable for those only needed occasional 3G access, starting at $5 for 5 hours of access, going all the way up to $30 for a whole month:

$5 = 5hr / $10 = 3d / $20 = 14d / $30 = 30d

Is this a technology you think you’d take advantage of? Let us know what you think!

The ProBook 5330m: A New Business Laptop from HP Combines Sleek Design with Pro Media Features

You’d be forgiven if at first glance you mistook the HP ProBook 5330m, pictured right, for a MacBook Pro.  The brushed aluminum chasis and backlit chiclet keyboard are both plays straight out of Apple’s book. These are a part what HP is calling FORGE, a new design framework that brings a contemporary look to HP’s line of professional laptops.

Less than an inch thick, under four pounds, and sporting a 13.3″ HD screen, the ProBook 5330m is not a typical business offering from the company. HP reps at a recent New York City event told me that they’re starting to broaden their horizons for what can be considered a product for their corporate customers. With features like Beats Audio built-in, the new ProBook brings high-quality media playback capabilities to an attractive and rugged machine. Apparently, business laptops can no longer be sold entirely on the strengths of their corporate-friendly features—employees are increasingly demanding laptops that they want to bring home.

The 5330m is built on top of Intel’s latest notebook technologies, with Sandy Bridge-backed Core i3 and i5 dual-core processors available. It is available today starting at a very reasonable $799.

Citrix Enteriprise Client Available on WebOS Tablet at Launch

Just to further point out that HP Palm is ready to put some “umph” into launching its first WebOS tablet since HP bought Palm last year, it was recently announced that the popular Citrix Receiver will be available on the HP TouchPad when it is released to the public.

From the Citrix Blog:

Citrix Receiver is a lightweight software client that will turn any webOS device into a powerful business tool by providing secure Enterprise access business desktops and any Windows, Web or SaaS application. The immediate benefit for webOS consumers is that Citrix will make webOS devices enterprise-ready by securely delivering access to the existing ecosystem of Windows based apps: Citrix Receiver will instantly enable new webOS devices for the enterprise!

That means with little hassle, companies can safely integrate webOS devices with the all of the IT polices and standards that will give end-users access business desktops, apps and docs that Citrix claims will “make you productive from anywhere on any device.”

Currently, the Citrix Reciever is a free app available on just about any mobile device/platorm (now including WebOS Tablets) and has reached over two million downloads. Their is also a free demo that you can use to see if there is room in your operation for virtual computing.

My HP Palm Tablet Has a First Name…

…It’s T.o.u.c.h.Pad

(lame, but you got it).

HP plans to announce several WebOS-powered devices at a special event later today. Word on the street is that two smartphones and its long-awaited tablet will be announced.

PreCentral sent some folks over to cover the event, and while standing too close the “huddle” (I still have football on the brain), they overheard some rehearsals wherein the HP TouchPad name was mentioned (previously code-named Topaz). They were also able to get the scoop on some dimensions (1.5 pounds and 13mm thick), which mirrors the Apple iPad, but were “detained” before they could overhear any more goodies…When I say detained, they were probably just told to leave the area, but my way sounds better.

With all of the iPad 2 and Android Tablet news running ramped, will there be room for HP Palm to get some shine on their new tablet device? Even though the WebOS platform was well received and I think will be on par with the other platforms wrapped up in a tablet We will just have wait and for an official announcement.