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  1.    #1  
    Amid sputtering sales of webOS devices (probably 200,000-350,000 sell through September-November, after having 500,000-600,000 the prior quarter), the question becomes, what is the HP strategy? While the Pre 2 looks like a decent upgrade, itís about 6 months overdue and has many observers, from Engadget to Precentral, wondering is this might have been planned for release months sooner but delayed by the HP acquisition. While that may or may not be true,the fact is that itís been almost a year since Palm could have any claim on having the most compelling smart phone on the market. Having now been eclipsed by half a dozen Droids, the iPhone 4, several Galaxy variants, and even some WP7 devices Palm fans are left wondering if thereís any life left in the platform. Well, while the Pre 2 might have been met with a collective shrug, the reviews of webOS 2.0 have been really good, with none other than Josh Topolsky raving about the mobile OS.

    So HP is still in the game. And the game isnít over, not close. But HP better bring their ďAĒ game early in the early part of 2011, as in CES. I wonít say this is what Iím hoping for, or what Iím expecting, but itís what I expect HP to do if they want to leap far past WP7, Blackberry & Meego to make it a 3-horse race. Or at least stay in the field.

    1. Update all webOS devices with HP webOS 2.0
    2. Release their tablet OS, with 2 tablet sizes (7″ & 10″) at prices that undercut Apple by $50 for the 10″ screen and sell the 7″ version for $350.
    3. Three new phones. The now-standard 4.1″ monster slate. A 3.1″ w/ portrait keyboard, and a 3.7″ landscape slider. Would like the Pre w/ a bigger screen, but thatís doubtful since the Pre2 will continue on. All 1GHz or better chips.
    4. Yeah, launch some printers with it.
    5. Heck, get into the Photoframe thing in a real way. Stick some Pixi-esque hardware in there, a decent 7″ screen and sell it for $200. With no cell radio, a resistive touchscreen & cheap internals, the price can get real aggressive. And itís a poor manís tablet in a pinch (think Nook Color).
    6. Apps up the wazoo. I would not be surprised if HP announced 5000 new apps at launch. They are encouraging all employees to write programs, and they have a lot of folks on payroll.

    As some noted, with the slate phones seeming to dominate, it becomes more about software than hardware. HP webOS has the software chops, but Palm hasnít anteíd up yet in the headline contest. Will they ever?
  2. cgk
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    #2  
    it becomes more about software than hardware. HP webOS has the software chops, but Palm hasn’t ante’d up yet in the headline contest. Will they ever?
    It has it in the OS chops but not software (apps).
  3. #3  
    alot
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    It has it in the OS chops but not software (apps).
    Nor the developer interest.
  5. #5  
    It was telling that at the Facebook event today, they had a slide showing the mobile platforms they were tricking out their presence on, and WebOS was not even listed despite the fact that there is a Facebook app for it!

    Windows Phone was up there, but not WebOS. "Mobile Web" was up there, but not WebOS.

    Yeah.
  6. #6  
    you know, i was wondering what had come of HP's internal apps competition. It seems likely that there had to be a bunch of at least usable apps to come out of it. Any chance they were just waiting to release them all with WebOS 2.0? if so, shouldn't they be hitting the app catalog before or at least at the same time of the Verizon release?
  7. #7  
    at this point, NONE OF US KNOWS.
  8. #8  
    This is my idea of what HP is planning on doing:

    They are releasing the Pre 2 to get that out of the way since The rumor is, they had that in development before the buyout. 2.0 will come out after the pre 2 is released in the U.S. This will get developers developing for 2.0 hopefully getting some cool new apps in their catalog like voice apps since the new APIs are opening that up for developers. This will give them a stronger comeback next year when they release new devices along with thousands of apps they are saving up to release much like the WP7 phone had at launch. Since they bought Palm I think (hope) they have been dumping money into webOS and its future devices. They didnt buy it for nothing. 2010 isnt the year for Palm FOR SURE and I think HP knows that. They are letting everyone else have the spotlight this year. But next year, I feel they will come back with a bang.

    Again, this is all high hopes for Palm. But as I mentioned. HP didnt buy Palm for nothing. They will do something great with it Im sure.
  9. #9  
    ^^ agreed... I wouldn't be surprised to find that HP already has a ton of partners developing quietly to load up the catalog for the future HP devices. The Pre 2 was being worked on by Palm already so they went ahead with it as an interim device. I'm hoping HP is currently leveraging all of their partnership muscle for some future big launch of devices and apps.
  10. #10  
    The Pre2 at this point exists solely to give developers something to test their applications on.

    In the next year, I believe they will release several mobile devices, some of them phones, some of them media players, a watch, and the palmpad. They also plan to release home appliances that utilize webOS software.
  11. #11  
    While I understand the optimism, I'm not sure I understand the thinking that HP is quietly amassing some incredible array of developers, features, etc. and holding it back for impact whenever they announce this bounty (early next year, I guess?).

    The competition is only going to heat up next year as Microsoft will have already established a beachhead on ATT and T-Mobile, and moves to Sprint with WP7 devices. Apple will likely launch on Verizon, and will be dropping iPad 2.0. Android will finally be on multiple mainstream tablets, along with Gingerbread handsets up the yin yang. There's no strategy to "Holding back" until you can launch in the most competitive smartphone/tablet market in...well...ever. Sure, the market is relatively young, but no one is standing still at the moment save for HP and Palm.

    Additionally, if Palm Pre 2.0 was meant to be a seed device for developers, why is the unlocked developer version STILL unavailable for purchase two weeks after it went to French retail? HP Palm obviously has the manufacturing capacity to meet the "overwhelming" demand for SFR and to get the unlocked model up on their store. When Google launched the Nexus One, it was available at Google.com/phone the very day they announced it at a press conference. By contrast, Palm's press release (ugh) pointed people to an incorrectly linked website with a bunch of "coming soon" and "in the coming months". Are developers supposed to twiddle their thumbs as they wait breathlessly for HP to get it together?
  12. #12  
    Considering everything Mikah says in his post above, is it possible that HP really didn't buy Palm to get into the smartphone business?
  13. #13  
    Remember this quote from the HP CEO:

    "We didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn't seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment...We have tens of millions of HP small form factor web-connected devices...Now imagine that being a web-connected environment where now you can get a common look and feel and a common set of services laid against that environment. That is a very value proposition."

    HP CEO: "We didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business" -- Engadget

    I don't care that he recanted shortly thereafter to the affirmitive. The first thing out of his mouth reflected HP's point of view.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by nappy View Post
    Considering everything Mikah says in his post above, is it possible that HP really didn't buy Palm to get into the smartphone business?
    No, they bought Palm to build toasters, printers, and because they had 1 Billion burning a hole in their pocket.

    They did not buy webOS JUST to do phones, but if they don't plan on doing phones, then all of my above statements are actually true. It will always start with the phone. More people will need a phone than will need a tablet or a netbook.

    I am confident that webOS can do well. My concern has always been execution, both by Palm and HP. So far, I've not been overwhelmed by HP's execution to date. (HP, are you listening?)

    C
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    While I understand the optimism, I'm not sure I understand the thinking that HP is quietly amassing some incredible array of developers, features, etc. and holding it back for impact whenever they announce this bounty (early next year, I guess?).

    The competition is only going to heat up next year as Microsoft will have already established a beachhead on ATT and T-Mobile, and moves to Sprint with WP7 devices. Apple will likely launch on Verizon, and will be dropping iPad 2.0. Android will finally be on multiple mainstream tablets, along with Gingerbread handsets up the yin yang. There's no strategy to "Holding back" until you can launch in the most competitive smartphone/tablet market in...well...ever. Sure, the market is relatively young, but no one is standing still at the moment save for HP and Palm.

    Additionally, if Palm Pre 2.0 was meant to be a seed device for developers, why is the unlocked developer version STILL unavailable for purchase two weeks after it went to French retail? HP Palm obviously has the manufacturing capacity to meet the "overwhelming" demand for SFR and to get the unlocked model up on their store. When Google launched the Nexus One, it was available at Google.com/phone the very day they announced it at a press conference. By contrast, Palm's press release (ugh) pointed people to an incorrectly linked website with a bunch of "coming soon" and "in the coming months". Are developers supposed to twiddle their thumbs as they wait breathlessly for HP to get it together?
    Well look at WP7. Its a brand new phone with a brand new OS that has all this hype. Why couldnt HP/Palm have a comeback with a new awesome device. We dont know if they are making crazy awesome phones for next year. But if they are and it is just as good, if not better than the other phones out there, people will flock to it. They are already planning a webOS tablet and other unnamed devices. And HP has had its employees working on apps for webOS which we haven't seen any yet. The way I see it is that all their little steps they are taking and taking their time doing it (hopefully to make it right), they are planning for action in 2011. The mobile phone industry will always be here. All it takes to get to the top is to make something people want. Im just guessing and hoping that that is what they are doing.

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