HP CEO Whitman: ‘We have to ultimately offer a smartphone and get it right this time’

“Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman says it’s only a matter of time before the company returns to the smartphone business it all but abandoned 13 months ago,” Arik Hesseldahl reports for AllThingsD.

“In an interview that aired on Fox Business News today, Whitman told correspondent Liz Claman that in many places around the world, phones are the first computing device that people own, making HP’s lack of participation in that segment a glaring absence,” Hesseldahl reports. “[Whitman said], ‘We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet, or a PC or a desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We’re a computing company; we have to take advantage of that form factor. … We did take a detour into smartphones, and we’ve got to get it right this time. My mantra to the team is: ‘Better right than faster than we should be there.’ So we’re working to make sure that when we do this, it will be the right thing for Hewlett-Packard, and we will be successful.'”

Hesseldahl reports, “HP, you’ll remember, acquired Palm in 2010 for $1.2 billion, not long before its then CEO-Mark Hurd departed. Under his replacement, Léo Apotheker, HP sought to apply Palm’s webOS operating system to a tablet that it hoped would challenge Apple’s iPad. It didn’t work out that way and Apotheker shuttered HP’s webOS hardware operations in August of 2011. Whitman, who replaced Apotheker 40 days later, ultimately decided that the webOS software was better off in the hands of the open source community, and is working on an OS called Enyo.”

Read more and watch the videos in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, “doing it right” doesn’t mean knocking off Apple’s industrial design and trampling all over Apple’s trade dress, like HP routinely does with their shiteous Windows PCs. Jony Ive doesn’t work for you, you hacks.

Related articles:
HP blatantly copies Apple’s iMac, Keyboard, and Magic Trackpad designs – September 10, 2012
Apple is killing Dell and Hewlett-Packard – August 6, 2012
HP ‘designer’ on HP’s MacBook Air clone: ‘Apple may like to think they own silver, but they don’t’ – May 9, 2012

61 Comments

  1. This shows what a big diff in corp culture between Apple and HP are. HP always BS to the world that HP can do this and that, HP must do this and that… just empty talk… no real action. Apple just do it and release the product when it’s ready. No BS.

  2. A year ago, HP had all they needed for smart phones: a good mobile operating system, app platform groundwork, and they even got a phone all the way to release. Reviewers really liked the software & platform, they just couldn’t recommend it based on how clunky & cheap the hardware was. But there was really nothing wrong with their first generation phones that couldn’t be easily remedied in the second generation.

    Then after all that, HP just gave up on phones. It was like a batter made it all the way to his first major league game, then ran home crying after getting a strike on the first pitch.

    Now, after giving up their perfect position on a whim, HP suddenly wants to enter the smart phone market again? Idiots.

    1. The decision to spin webOS off into the open source community was Whitman’s to make after she was installed as CEO of HP. She’s as clueless here as she was when running eBay.

      What OS are they going to run their smartphones on that gives them a leg up over the competition? Apple has bought the entire year’s supply of unicorn tears.

    1. I was ROFL when I read this story. If HP was slmart, they would become an iPhone enterprise reseller and work on developing iPhone Apps for their enterprise customers. By he time they have a phone, there will be an Amazon phone and a uch of cheap Chinese Android phones in the market. Apple’s advantage is everytime there is a new iPhone, they have an increasing base of old iphone owners upgrading. Next year you will have the millions of contract 4S owners starting the upgrade cycle – many more than the iP 4 population. In addition there is China Mobile user base. Doubt that HP has much traction in China. For the low end market, I believe the new iPod Nano is the form factor for a mass market iPhone for pay go and emerging markets. I believe Apple will do 170 to 200 MM phones in CY 2013. HP will do zero.

  3. Apple sales & revenue as of 06/30 = $35B & $8.8B. HP sales & revenue as of 07/31 = $30B & -$8.9B. Apple laptops = 2 (Air & Pro). HP laptops = 44 home-office, 159 small-business, ? large-enterprise. Apple desktops = 3 (mini, iMac, Pro). HP desktops = 47 home-office, 113 small-business, ? large-enterprise. How on earth can anyone decide which HP to buy? HP definitely needs to get its houses in order before they try smartphones again.

    1. They use to SELL iPods for Apple, not make them.
      Backing out of a profitable partnership with Apple and trying to compete with them in the portable mp3 space was a BIG mistake.
      Now? Apple doesn’t need them anymore.

  4. didn’t she spent tens of millions just to lose the elections in CA?
    now she’s going to spend an enormous amount of HP’s manpower
    and money just to loose again in smartphones wars
    go and figure her out HP CEO

  5. HP is the company where Steve Wozniak worked and during that time HP management refused Woz’s apple 1 five times, looks like the management / leaders in HP are useless at using their talented engineers in the old days and even currently. These engineers at HP should try to get a job at apple where there will be better opportunities for them

    1. Let’s be fair about this. The Apple 1 was pretty far from being a product that HP could profitably manufacture and sell, and as it turned out, Apple only sold handful of them. It’s not like Woz offered them the Apple ][ with his amazing floppy controller. HP’s management at the time made the right call.

      -jcr

      1. i am grateful HP refused Woz’s Apple 1, this is why we have Apple as we know it. But what i was getting it is that HP management lacks vision now just like they did in the apple 1 era. HP did Steve Jobs, Woz and us apple users a great benefit by not having vision.

  6. Whitman said: ‘We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that is your first computing device.”

    Whitman is triple wrong on her statement above:

    1. Simplest PCs are still likely to be cheaper. Subsidies are the only thing making smartphones appear “cheap”.

    2. Smartphones are not smart unless you easily integrate with other computing devices you already have. Hence you need…Microsoft unless you go the route of Apple and create an entire OS ecosystem…time consuming.

    3. Balmer said at least one thing right, it takes developers, developers, developers: which takes an OS and development tools to EASILY create apps.

    HP is going to have a major bust unless it can create an entry level ecosystem in a short time period that can expand. Even then, I wonder if they can make it. If they “make it”, it will most likely be “made in Asia”, sold in Asia and have the largest source of developers in Asia in order to reach the low hanging fruit of new, low income, low rent smart phone buyers who don’t get subsidized.

  7. They spent 2 billion on buying Palm and WebOS. Why don’t they start there? Of all the other OSes out their for smartphones (besides iOS), I think WebOS had/has the most promise. It, in my opinion, even has some things that I’d like to see in iOS. It was fluid, powerful, looked great, good multitasking, etc. In other words, I think they have a great smart phone… they just have to manufacture it. While I won’t be leaving my iPhone, I’d love to see what HP could do with WebOS should they REALLY put their minds to it.

    1. The money they spent on Palm is a sunk cost, and WebOS isn’t in the same league as Android, let alone iOS.

      HP does have the wherewithal to create a truly competitive mobile device OS and development system, but their senior management doesn’t seem to be aware of it.

      -jcr

  8. Who want’s to buy a phone from some that thinks they HAVE to make one, kicking and screaming the hole the way.

    I want to buy one from someone that is inspired and driven to make a great product.

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