HP gets it and moves to challenge Apple

In an interesting turn of events HP entered into an agreement to purchase Palm Inc.  As I wrote recently, up to this point there was virtually no one moving in a direction which could represent a short-to-mid term challenge to the iPad as an all around light weight tablet device.  HP’s own slate computer which was presented by Steve Balmer to the public earlier in January was a laughable excuse for a tablet, regardless of what the USB-port and camera fans could say in its favor.  Windows 7 simply isn’t the kind of operating system such a device needs in order to challenge the iPad and iPhone OS in terms of user experience.

It seems that some people at HP finally got that and moved to do something about it.  in acquiring Palm, HP moves to secure access to Palm’s WebOS, a mobile OS that might be what is needed to bring the company into the same playing field as Apple.  The main question now will be how long it will take HP to develop new products that make use of Palm’s technology and if the company will be able to put together a consistent strategy for the mobile space.

In order to be able to challenge Apple, HP will need to have a consistent strategy based on a vision of what its mobile computing experience should be like.  If HP decides to follow the same path as Dell and simply throws on the market all shapes and sizes it can think of to create a mobile device it will most likely just be throwing away the capital it’s investing in the Palm acquisition.

This acquisition by HP means that they are acutely aware of the implications of touch based computing becoming mainstream, specially of the implications of this happening in a platform that they can’t offer on the devices they produce.  This also means that HP has recognized that it can’t sit around waiting for Microsoft to get its act together and produce a mobile OS that will be able to challenge Apple’s iPhone OS.

This is the first serious move by a major player in the computer industry to try to catch up with Apple, instead of simply pretending that it is the iPad’s form factor that mainly attracts people.  Steve Jobs has always made it very clear that he considers Apple a software company and now so should HP, if they are serious about getting a slice of the touch computing market in the next couple of years.

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2 Responses to “ “HP gets it and moves to challenge Apple”

  1. Marcio says:

    Very interesting indeed, but I don’t believe HP has a tight strategy to become a mobile company. More than iPads, iPhones and iPods, Apples has a full service network to sustain requirements of a mobile way of life.

  2. Mauricio Longo says:

    @Marcio : Quite true, but they’ve taken a major step. There is talk that they might go for retail stores in the near to mid term future.

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