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  1.    #1  
    Early on in their run after buying Palm, HP finds themselves in a particularly difficult situation. In no particular order, the individual issues which are combining to amplify their woes are:

    1) Moving devices into legacy status (Pre and Pre+) with no available replacements.

    2) Moving from Mojo to Enyo, requiring program re-writes.

    3) Moving from webOS 1.x to 2.x with no 'official' backward compatibility for existing devices.

    4) Announcing a Pre3 at nearly the same time they released the Pre2 (still scratching my head on that one). And not having it ready to buy right away.

    Those issues are combining in a way which should alarm them. They have frozen the ability to purchase hardware for those of us who might want to buy a Palm product. They have destroyed the incentive of developers to develop, and frozen many who still want to develop because there is virtually nowhere to sell their Pre 2/ Pre3 / Enyo based app.

    Some ideas (some of your would be appreciated):

    1) Be brave - convert the Pre series to Wi-Fi only PDA's and blow them out at a cheap price.
    I would have bought a few for friends as gifts if they could be given as PDA's. The advantage to this - apps would still be sold for these devices, increasing the base of potential apps buyers. Also, they could gain more exposure to the OS should a person wants to move up to a phone based device later on.

    2) Embrace homebrew developers by paying for their more successful creations and rolling them into the main app catalog or the OS. We get a better OS and software, and they show developers that good ideas will be rewarded.

    3) Take on hardware warranty internally - The previous missteps have made carriers and potential customers alike leery of what they will get with a Palm product. Do like the Korean car companies did, offer the mobile equivalent of a 10 year/ 100,000 mile warranty on HP/Palm device. And offload the carriers concern that thy will lose money on a large amount of returns.
    If you won't stand behind your hardware, why should anybody else?

    4) Don't get too enthralled with the 'ecosystem' - it's important, but good product should be able to stand on their own. In my opinion, that is part of what's been plaguing Microsoft. If you are planing to sell more phones by selling a tablet or vice-versa, you will be bitterly disappointed. Make each product good enough so people want them for its own sake, not because it can bump-to-share or any of such nonsense.


    That's just for starters. Anyone else care to share some wisdom with HP?
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  2. #2  
    I like it!! Send it to Leo, Ruby, and the entire gang.
  3. #3  
    I like it too.
    If this helped you hit thanks.
  4. #4  
    woot.com can sell anything. I'd buy a bunch of them.
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    This is the only item I have my doubts about. The stand-alone PDA is dead. The phone is the PDA. Anyone with a modern smartphone already has good PIM solutions. The iPod touch is a singular product without peer due to the entertainment ecosystem. It is the complete iOS ecosystem without a phone contract. Other devices can't compete with that.

    Archos is already out there and doing well enough for a tiny niche, and they are beyond the reach of most other competitors. The Zune is the best combination of great hardware, software, and ecosystem, and they have just hoisted the white flag.

    I think everything else you wrote was spot on. Perhaps this part was spot on and I just misunderstood what you were envisioning.
    I half agree with you. The traditional PDA market, which was the province of business professionals and technophiles, is indeed dead.

    But I suspect there is another market out there, composed of people who don't want to spend 300 dollars on a device PLUS a monthly service fee. The actual cost of a typical smartphone is north of $2,000, once all fees are added. (Notice that few opt for the one year plan and even less buy off-contract. And how many buy Wi-Fi only tablets as opposed to 3G?)

    The iPod touch is a good device (see, I'm not biased ), but not everyone is willing to spend $200 plus on a device that if they accidentally drop it in the tub they are out of luck. For 50 bucks, I'd be willing to take the chance.

    Not something to do for future production, but the Pre+ and even the Pre 2 are pretty much past their shelf life anyway as anyone still interested is waiting for the Pre3. Buy them back from carriers, cripple the phone features and sell them cheap as PDA devices. For many students and others it would be good enough, HP would get a bigger base of users buying $2.00 apps, and people who come to like the OS and would be pre-conditioned as future phone customers. Also, the carriers would not feel like they are stuck with dead product.

    (And I bet some cheap Android device of this type will be out by this time next year anyway)

    And if there proved to be no big market, nothing would really be lost. It's not like they are going to be selling a lot of the old Pre's anyway. If there was a market to be found, they could then decide how or if they want to pursue it.

    I don't think Apple has as much to worry about from the Touchpads and Playbooks as the do from devices like the Kindle, and especially the Nook hacked to be passable tablet devices. No they won't steal the business professionals and technophiles at first, but the will win those who want into the tablet experience without the expensive overhead. And once you build momentum (and user base), as the Android experience shows, your product can take on a life of it's own.
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  6. #6  
    I wonder how much of the release date they controlled with respect to #4. The Pre 2 was already in Europe by November, and an unlocked GSM version was available in the US by December. Who knows why it took until February for the Pre 2 to finally be available on Verizon, although at the current price (free from HP), it is a decent second webOS option for people who don't want to spend the money on a Pre 3.
  7. #7  
    Really good, thought out, and insightful post. Your third point about warrantys is a great idea how hp can gain traction with carriers I haven't read about yet.

  8. #8  
    1. I think tablets will take over the old pda role. Especially the 7" ones. Even ipod touch sales are down since ipad.

    3. They already offer a year warranty. I'm not sure what you mean here.

    4. Ecosystem is important. But the most obvious part is webOS. This is what needs to be able to evolve. I'd expect each product to hold its own.
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    1. I think tablets will take over the old pda role. Especially the 7" ones. Even ipod touch sales are down since ipad.

    3. They already offer a year warranty. I'm not sure what you mean here.

    4. Ecosystem is important. But the most obvious part is webOS. This is what needs to be able to evolve. I'd expect each product to hold its own.
    1) Could be, but there is a huge market of people who would be happy without spending the $500 dollars minimum it will take get into the tablet space. If HP were savvy enough to have that "army of programmers" write a program to push class schedules, homework assignments, and school information out via a Wi-Fi to students on campus - they could make a big dent. Especially if they could keep the price to students cheap (bundle it with PC purchases, app development contests).

    Also, remember to think internationally - middle schools, high schools, community colleges, etc exist in places other than just the US (need to get the international catalog in order HP - jump on it, guys)

    3) Because of the bad reputation they have earned, Palm / HP has to do something bold to assure potential customers that they can buy with confidence. They should put their money where their mouth is and indemnify customers and carriers by being willing to take the hit if their product is defective.

    (I got a good Pre+, over a year old with no problems. If they were all this reliable, Palm would be in a better place right now)

    4) Agreed. I'm just afraid the strategy may turn into "Buy this device, because it works with this device too" That only works if you have a stranglehold on a segment of the market... and even then, not always. Microsoft with the desktop OS market, probably not. RIM with the Enterprise, no.

    Apple with iTunes music, yes. But Apple's products are good as standalone items. You don't NEED an iPhone to give value to an iPad. HP should not fall into the trap of making something mediocre an attractive buy through tying it to some other product. Just make it good, period. I hope they will.
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  10. #10  
    i think we need hardware too? currently we have nothing, and no cool commercials with explosions or monsters crashing to earth.

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