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  1. Zyphlin's Avatar
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       #1  
    Right now there is a spec war going on with Android devices. Google decided to go the route PocketPC and later Windows Mobile went, liscencing out their OS to a variety of manufacturers. Much as it played out then, this has led to a spec war between those various providers. The OS offering on all of them, while perhaps mildly tweaked (Stock, Sense, MotoBlur, etc), is exactly the same. The only thing that differentiates, say, a HTC Thunderbolt from a Droid Incredible from a Xperia Arc from a Optimus x2 is the design and the specs.

    As such, it doesn't matter how good your camera takes a picture, it matters that mine says 8 like the other android phoens say 8...or bigger. It doesn't matter if the OS isn't optimized for Dual Core or runs extremely smooth at 512 RAM, I need to have what the others have or better because that's the only way I appear different to them.

    This creates a spec "arms race" amongst the Android brands as they shove everything into the phones as needed, regardless even if the OS is optimized for it (Look at the way the tacted on dual screen functionality is happening). This drives up the cost to make the phone driving down products and also makes it where they need to come out with a new phone in short intervals at every little spec jump.

    Apple, largely, has managed to avoid this spec race. They maintain very good specs, but save for the screen rarely top of the line specs for their units entire life cycle as a flagship. However, the specs they do use are enough to run their phone extremely well. The reason they're able to do this is, in large part, attributed to the fact that while they're competing as a "smartphone" they have a built in significant difference between them an Android...their OS.

    This is much like Palm during the early days of PocketPC and Windows Mobile going up against the Palm Pilot and later the Treo's. Palm in general didn't liscense itself (initially) and later did it with very few vendors of any real note. When looking at a pure spec for spec comparison, PocketPC/WinMo routinely trounced them. Faster processor, more RAM, better screens, etc etc. However, Palm's hardware ran their OS well and the OS helped to deferentiate itself from the Microsoft options.

    HP is in a similar position as Apple. Their big differentiating factor between themselves and the various google offerings is WebOS. That, in and of itself, provides a substantial difference. While for us tech geeks, the lack of across the board cutting edge hardware is bothersome, I think for the general consumers its going to be less of an issue. And for HP I think its the right way to go for keeping the mobile section of their division profitable (by not entering an arms race) and thus having longevity.

    The key, which they have done with the Pre3, is to have "high end" if not "top end" specs with a few big "features" to tout. And, to have specs that will properly and smoothly run their OS (A problem in the Pre minus). For example, while not a dual core it does have a "high end" processor that gives it a "feature" by being able to claim the highest clock speed. While not "top end" RAM, they are on par with other high end phones with 512 and all reports about webOS 2.0 has that running it very smooth. While the original Pre's 5MP camera wasn't "top end" in terms of Mega pixels, it did get relatively good reviews for its ACTUAL quality. With 720 vid capture and a reportedly better camera now, that should be similar. Touchstone and Touch to Share give it some "bonus features" that they can pimp, similar to how others use mini-HDMI and such things.

    The Pre3 seems to be a high end, but not top end, phone with hardware that, by all accounts, should run WebOS 2.0 extremely smoothly. While the tech geek in me would absolutely love to have a lot of the high end stats, the realist in me realizes that distancing themselves from the hardware arms race Android has created is probably wise from a business and longevity stand point.
  2. cgk
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    It's easier than that - the phones are an afterthought.

    Sent from my Blade using Tapatalk
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    It's easier than that - the phones are an afterthought.

    Sent from my Blade using Tapatalk
    Exxxx-actly. They got maybe 10-15 percent of the 2+ hours of presentation time on Feb. 9. HP cares about tablets, sticking WebOS on PCs, and the phones are a distant third in the spectrum of things.
  4. #4  
    I think you make a very good point... the difference is Apple made the iphone an icon before the "arms race" really geared up. HP is entering into a more competetive market now. In my opinion they need to have the best OS, build quality, AND specs to gain significant market share. Personally as long as the phone runs smooth I am fine... but then again I'm already sold on the OS... most people are not.
  5. #5  
    I am sold on the OS that is why I came back from HTC EVO, and now as all of you I am waiting for the Pre 3 with the TouchPad, I hope that HP is working closely with developers to release some good apps and I am not talking about games, but some real useful apps. The games will come, but HP needs to do is release a carrier and a date at least then we have something to look forward to and make our choices. Pre 3 is a solid phone with solid specs and it will be hard for HP to catch a solid market share in the world where iPhone and Android rule. By HP sitting silently it is not helping there own cause. They should be all over the place with commercials and carrier news. Maybe they are waiting for Apple to get there conference out of the way and than they will release there news, but who really know what HP is thinking, there own CEO does not know what is going on, so how can we or the carriers. The CEO came out and said that after Feb 9th it will be few weeks and now they back tracked and said summer.
  6. #6  
    I have to agree with the OP. Trying to sell a phone by saying "We have a better processor than an Android" is not a strategy for success. The comparative few who favor webOS do so because they like the experience.

    Good specs (not the 'best' specs) and a good user experience will sell more than good specs alsone any day of the week. If not, there would be only one or two Androids and an Apple (or maybe not) and nothing else would ever sell.

    That said, it's up to HP to 1) build a decent phone, and 2) build a compelling case as to why their product is worth consideration. Seems like they have the right idea on this despite their PRPRPR $bungles$ ($I$'$ve$ $notice$ $the$ $only$ $heat$ $on$ $this$ $is$ $in$ $these$ $forums$ $or$ $people$ $reporting$ $on$ $these$ $forums$).

    Because of the the loss of momentum from the initial excitement in 2009, they don't have the luxury of releasing a cool but "useless" phone and hoping that coolness alone will prompt enough people to buy it.
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  7. spyre's Avatar
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    #7  
    I think they have to have both to really win. HP/WebOS has such a small marketshare they need to hit hard and fast with a phone that is dominant. With an android and soon WM7 arms race people ARE looking at specs. I have plenty of phone nerd friends who discount webos/pre's for the hardware. Getting them to move platforms, be it iphone or android with $$ invested in apps + the hardware is going to be difficult. If those same people stick with their OS and just get better hardware then they get to maintain all their paid apps. To beat that hurdle the HP phones have got to come in swinging with massive hardware combined with WebOS which most know is good, but if the phone isn't better than their year old Evo hardware wise, why move?
  8. #8  
    The problem is that they are spreading the OS over multiple 'different' phones now, and each phone has it's own mini webos. Take the apps that are only available for the Pre and not the Pixi as an example. Now they will have six different phones running different versions of WebOS; accepting that the Pixi and Pixi Plus are pretty much the same thing, but the Pre- and Pre+ are different. It's starting to sound a little like Andriod, although not to the same extent.
  9. #9  
    Very well written post. I think it's a sad commentary on the current state of things around here that the first two responses say nothing about what was said in the post itself, but just generally dismisses HPs release of phones at all.

    Along those lines, it's noteworthy that not only is HP not ignoring the phones, but they're making them an big part of the overall functionality of the TouchPad. This is the type of added value you're talking about, over tech specs.
  10. #10  
    I don't think HP can follow Apple's foot step. This is just little too late and too little market share. Like other said, they have to hit it big and hard. Once they have enough marketshare, then maybe they can follow the footstep of Apple, but for now I think only option is to design the phone and put the best spec. That is the only way to bring the excitement of webOS with lack of apps.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by GoTitans View Post
    I think you make a very good point... the difference is Apple made the iphone an icon before the "arms race" really geared up. HP is entering into a more competetive market now. In my opinion they need to have the best OS, build quality, AND specs to gain significant market share. Personally as long as the phone runs smooth I am fine... but then again I'm already sold on the OS... most people are not.
    There is no 1 formula for all companies, companies compete best when they play to their strengths. HP's strengths is that it's ubiquitous [in hardware, whereas android's strength is being ubiquitous online]. HP plays to that strength by putting WebOS along with its hardware. Eventually, it will attempt to gain presence in the online world via the cloud services it has been purchasing. Android will win the top of the line specs race because: Android has 5 major players (number made up) competing with each other, it is not realistic nor desirable (from the business perspective, as much as it would be for consumers) for HP to churn out the quantity of hardware/year that the various android manufacturers combine to produce.

    Competing on a "top numbers" basis will always be fleeting against that quantum of competition. The "smoothness & Interconnectiveness" route will be the only measuring stick feasible for HP.
  12. #12  
    OP, that was really well written, and EXACTLY how I feel about the situation. We don't need specs, because we have the OS and it runs perfectly on what HP/Palm is working on.

    More even, have you ever used a stock Droid X or Samsung Galaxy S? Despite all that power under the hood, they still feel slow. Swipes aren't fluid and the interface just isn't up to par... at all.
  13. #13  
    I agree that the specs matter much less to me than the user experience, form factor, durability, etc.

    But at the same time, I’m not just using the OS 100% of the time. WebOS is great, but it is still just the jumping off point for all the functionality of the phone. If other systems continue to outpace WebOS in delivering the substantial apps (not just the race to see who can accumulate 200,000 fart apps the fastest) then being able to flick between cards can only hold out so long.

    I believe HP when they say they are serious about supporting devs and putting effort into this area, but I would be in a more comfortable position if we started to hear about a couple of major apps actually releasing for WebOS 2.1 now/soon instead of just hearing about “partnerships” and “commitments.”

    -Suntan
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Suntan View Post
    I agree that the specs matter much less to me than the user experience, form factor, durability, etc.

    I believe HP when they say they are serious about supporting devs and putting effort into this area, but I would be in a more comfortable position if we started to hear about a couple of major apps actually releasing for WebOS 2.1 now/soon instead of just hearing about “partnerships” and “commitments.”

    -Suntan
    I suspect most of us are on the same page. HP does not need bragging rights on hardware, but they should not be lagging far behind (and that doesn't seem to be the plan).

    They don't need 100,000 apps, but a core of good ones. The problem is that everyone has a different definition of 'core apps'. Me, I could care less about Angry Birds (if it's there, I'll use it - but it's not the basis for purchasing a phone). The same with a native Facebook app, but for some that is a deal breaker. There is no way they jump from 8,000 apps to 200,000 apps; so that can't the key to plans for success.

    HP has the right idea, build a respectable ecosystem with core functionality, market the product heavily, make it a pleasant user experience and grow marketshare through hard work and not by some gimmicky approach.

    Can they execute? That remains to be seen.
    "Sometimes I feel like an OS-less child..."
    (with apologies to Billie Holiday )
  15. #15  
    I'll tell you one spec that is really important: the GPU. I just looked up the specs on the Snapdreagon MSM8655, and I am definitely disappointed. It comes with the Adreno 205. A very weak GPU compared to 100% of everything else in the market. Look up a video of HTC Evo Shift (same 205 GPU) vs. Epic, Droid X, LG phones.... anything else and you will see that graphically, the 8655 is much weaker than any of them, and webOS has a good selection of 3D games.

    That guarantees that Pre 3 will never be able to handle Unreal Engine games that are coming out on iOS and Android (non-HTC devices). I think the TouchPad has the 220 Adreno GPU, which is very powerful. Just as powerful as Samsung's Hummingbird line. I think they should have put that on the Pre 3, since it already has games for it.
  16. #16  
    I'll tell you one spec that is really important: the GPU. I just looked up the specs on the Snapdreagon MSM8655, and I am definitely disappointed. It comes with the Adreno 205. A very weak GPU compared to 100% of everything else in the market. Look up a video of HTC Evo Shift (same 205 GPU) vs. Epic, Droid X, LG phones.... anything else and you will see that graphically, the 8655 is much weaker than any of them, and webOS has a good selection of 3D games.

    That guarantees that Pre 3 will never be able to handle Unreal Engine games that are coming out on iOS and Android (non-HTC devices). I think the TouchPad has the 220 Adreno GPU, which is very powerful. Just as powerful as Samsung's Hummingbird line. I think they should have put that on the Pre 3, since it already has games for it.
  17. #17  
    Hp decided to go with qualcomm, who have worse graphic cards, but better cpus. Which I actually think is a good thing, because even though weos 2.0 usses the gpu, it doesm't use it nearly as much as it's cpu. And NO one will care if the games look slightly worse on webos, I mean look at the top games, angry birds, doodle jump, plant vs zombies, etc.. Need for speed is also popular, but again, no one cares if it looks a bit worse. But people do care if apps take longer to load, or if the os isn't snappy.
  18. #18  
    The sentence the OP needed is: "The OS needs to be optimized for the specific hardware it runs on."
  19. #19  
    Completely agree with the OP's argument. As someone who follows the tech industry, I have to say that it's gotten to a point that it's too ridiculous to try and keep up anymore with all of the Android spec bumps. All of that jargony stuff is above most consumers' heads, but I can also imagine the average consumer walking into a store and being swayed by the fact that something has a larger number, even if they don't understand what a 1.2ghz dual-core processor is.

    The one point I slightly disagree with is Apple's position. It's true, it's all about the OS and making things actually run well, so they're not concerned about spewing out numbers. They are, however, big into semantics. Higher PPI display? No, it's Retina Display. Front and back camera with video chat? Nope, FaceTime. Built in e-reader? Nope, ours is better - iBooks. And so on. Apple is huge into these meaningless proprietary names, but everyone buys into them. They enter our consumer vocabulary (just look at "app store") and that's a huge win on their part. If you're a non-Apple company, how can you compete with "Retina Display" without getting into numbers on resolution and pixel density? It's impossible.

    Having said all this, and back to the OP's point, I think it's clear HP is trying to move in on this territory by de-emphasizing webOS specs - as they should. It's great to see them really promoting something like Touch to Share; it's a clear and non-jargony term, yet tech-wise, it's an awesome feature. It's something that people can talk about and remember.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Right now there is a spec war going on with Android devices. Google decided to go the route PocketPC and later Windows Mobile went, liscencing out their OS to a variety of manufacturers. Much as it played out then, this has led to a spec war between those various providers. The OS offering on all of them, while perhaps mildly tweaked (Stock, Sense, MotoBlur, etc), is exactly the same. The only thing that differentiates, say, a HTC Thunderbolt from a Droid Incredible from a Xperia Arc from a Optimus x2 is the design and the specs.

    As such, it doesn't matter how good your camera takes a picture, it matters that mine says 8 like the other android phoens say 8...or bigger. It doesn't matter if the OS isn't optimized for Dual Core or runs extremely smooth at 512 RAM, I need to have what the others have or better because that's the only way I appear different to them.

    This creates a spec "arms race" amongst the Android brands as they shove everything into the phones as needed, regardless even if the OS is optimized for it (Look at the way the tacted on dual screen functionality is happening). This drives up the cost to make the phone driving down products and also makes it where they need to come out with a new phone in short intervals at every little spec jump.

    Apple, largely, has managed to avoid this spec race. They maintain very good specs, but save for the screen rarely top of the line specs for their units entire life cycle as a flagship. However, the specs they do use are enough to run their phone extremely well. The reason they're able to do this is, in large part, attributed to the fact that while they're competing as a "smartphone" they have a built in significant difference between them an Android...their OS.

    This is much like Palm during the early days of PocketPC and Windows Mobile going up against the Palm Pilot and later the Treo's. Palm in general didn't liscense itself (initially) and later did it with very few vendors of any real note. When looking at a pure spec for spec comparison, PocketPC/WinMo routinely trounced them. Faster processor, more RAM, better screens, etc etc. However, Palm's hardware ran their OS well and the OS helped to deferentiate itself from the Microsoft options.

    HP is in a similar position as Apple. Their big differentiating factor between themselves and the various google offerings is WebOS. That, in and of itself, provides a substantial difference. While for us tech geeks, the lack of across the board cutting edge hardware is bothersome, I think for the general consumers its going to be less of an issue. And for HP I think its the right way to go for keeping the mobile section of their division profitable (by not entering an arms race) and thus having longevity.

    The key, which they have done with the Pre3, is to have "high end" if not "top end" specs with a few big "features" to tout. And, to have specs that will properly and smoothly run their OS (A problem in the Pre minus). For example, while not a dual core it does have a "high end" processor that gives it a "feature" by being able to claim the highest clock speed. While not "top end" RAM, they are on par with other high end phones with 512 and all reports about webOS 2.0 has that running it very smooth. While the original Pre's 5MP camera wasn't "top end" in terms of Mega pixels, it did get relatively good reviews for its ACTUAL quality. With 720 vid capture and a reportedly better camera now, that should be similar. Touchstone and Touch to Share give it some "bonus features" that they can pimp, similar to how others use mini-HDMI and such things.

    The Pre3 seems to be a high end, but not top end, phone with hardware that, by all accounts, should run WebOS 2.0 extremely smoothly. While the tech geek in me would absolutely love to have a lot of the high end stats, the realist in me realizes that distancing themselves from the hardware arms race Android has created is probably wise from a business and longevity stand point.
    I do want to point out a few things, although your general point I do agree with.

    Point number one ... HP should, like Apple, provide specs that work best with WebOS and make it's OS shine. I think they did a great job with their choice of Snapdragon processors, both the duel core and the single core (for most users and really anything you can do, you don't really NEED the dual core -- although that could change at any time with a new application being build for a phone). But as long as WebOS shines and runs smoothly, it should be fine.

    Point number two ... The changes in each Android platform actually makes a difference in how the user does things and even likes the phone. Some people who need a good memo pad love the Epic 4G because it has one, whereas the other Android's don't. Some hate Samsung's TouchWiz because it has stock Android apps (for the most part) where HTC Sense complete revamps them and add's functionality to them.

    And finally ... the better specs allow for better applications. For instance, having a GPS/compass helps create augmented realty applications. Some people will die without that application (if you believe the few that speak about it here). But that is only one example

    But the greatest thing is that HP can choose and create the innovation with it's OS and hardware, whereas Google would have to work with companies or a company to bring that innovation (in hardware) to the marketplace. Which is something HP would not have to do.
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