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Okay, good news ... Maybe?
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Old 08/04/2012, 06:22 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Again it depends on volume. If all your costs are being covered, including salaries and you make a $2 billion profit that's a win.
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Old 08/04/2012, 06:34 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Again it depends on volume. If all your costs are being covered, including salaries and you make a $2 billion profit that's a win.
For you and me and probably most everyone else on here, yes, definitely! For a company like HP, and some of their major shareholders, not so much.
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Old 08/04/2012, 06:38 PM   #83 (permalink)
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For you and me and probably most everyone else on here, yes, definitely! For a company like HP, and some of their major shareholders, not so much.
Their profit margin hasn't decreased, their volume has decreased. They had the same profit margin when the stock was doing well.
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Old 08/04/2012, 06:58 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Their profit margin hasn't decreased, their volume has decreased. They had the same profit margin when the stock was doing well.
I guess that was the trigger for them then. That whole thing about if you're not growing you're dying - they wont be content with standing still, and even worse if there's any kind of decline.
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Old 08/06/2012, 01:22 AM   #85 (permalink)
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So, let's say HP does come out with an open webos tablet. After all this, who would actually buy one?
Right on spot. I think the damage for HP due to canning the Touchpad and Pre3 is higher than "just WebOS". I think customers might be wary of buying any new tablet product of HP, even if Win8 is on it and no reference to WebOS.
That is, except if the price is right. I think everyone would be interested in another tablet from HP for 99,- €
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Old 08/15/2012, 05:49 AM   #86 (permalink)
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HP then could have chosen to double down on things and try their best to spur sales (like Blackberry did), take the product back and try to sell them through other channels, or just call the whole thing off and have a firesale. They chose option 3, and not because it made the most business sense for HP as the company that it currently was, but because it made business sense in the context of Leo's vision of the new HP that would no longer be in the consumer hardware business.
This to me summarizes the whole thing.

And then Whitman came in and they decided not to completely kill it, just let it tread water for awhile, open sourcing it, etc.. Then possibly there'll be a market window later. Like if customers get fed up with Android fragmentation hurting their user experience... Or just if the economy gets better and business conditions make it easier to introduce new products...
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Old 08/15/2012, 08:49 AM   #87 (permalink)
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This to me summarizes the whole thing.

And then Whitman came in and they decided not to completely kill it, just let it tread water for awhile, open sourcing it, etc.. Then possibly there'll be a market window later. Like if customers get fed up with Android fragmentation hurting their user experience... Or just if the economy gets better and business conditions make it easier to introduce new products...
I don't think the economy is a restraint on the mobile consumer electronics. Apple, Samsung, Verizon, AT&T....all making money hand over fist.

Largely, Android and iOS satisfy the vast majority of consumers right now. And they definitely have a lock on most US carriers. That's the game. Sure, something disruptive and completely unique like the 2007 iPhone could change things, but webOS or GramOS or whatever it is now is not that product. It's just another HTML5-friendly startup OS like Jolla or Firefox. Not much market demand for that.
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Old 08/15/2012, 10:47 AM   #88 (permalink)
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I don't think the economy is a restraint on the mobile consumer electronics. Apple, Samsung, Verizon, AT&T....all making money hand over fist.
But it's not just about mobile consumer electronics for HP. They're going to have to invest heavily in the platform to get it viable. They need to get, I don't know, a few hundred thousand phones out there in the hands of people for developers to want to develop for it. And the only way now to do this is sell the phones really cheap, losing money on them.

They don't need the ridiculous number of apps iOS has. But they do need companies like Amazon, Groupon, and Facebook to feel like they really want to support the platform with apps. (And you do that is by getting webOS phones in the hands of lots of people).

If the economy gets better, they very well could be making more money in their other divisions that are a mess right now, and they could be more willing to invest money in webOS.

I'm not saying they'll do that with the money if they can get it though. It's just one possibility.

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Largely, Android and iOS satisfy the vast majority of consumers right now. And they definitely have a lock on most US carriers. That's the game.
How does that lock work? AT&T and Verizon were selling Palm phones, when they were making them. HP just stopped making them.

The major carriers are working the angle of selling smart phones at a discount for a 2 year contract hard. That and marketing prowess are the two main advantages they have over MVNO's. They would like nothing better than a really cheap, well-designed smart-phone to get people to sign up for 2-year contracts.
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Old 08/15/2012, 11:34 AM   #89 (permalink)
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But it's not just about mobile consumer electronics for HP. They're going to have to invest heavily in the platform to get it viable. They need to get, I don't know, a few hundred thousand phones out there in the hands of people for developers to want to develop for it. And the only way now to do this is sell the phones really cheap, losing money on them.

They don't need the ridiculous number of apps iOS has. But they do need companies like Amazon, Groupon, and Facebook to feel like they really want to support the platform with apps. (And you do that is by getting webOS phones in the hands of lots of people).

If the economy gets better, they very well could be making more money in their other divisions that are a mess right now, and they could be more willing to invest money in webOS.

I'm not saying they'll do that with the money if they can get it though. It's just one possibility.
There's a chicken and egg problem here, tho. How do you get the phones in the hands of people when there are no apps and nothing that compels people to buy them that they don't already have on Android and iOS?

Making it cheap is a non-starter in the US due to carrier subsidies which already offer a number of capable midrange Windows Phone and Android devices "free". There's no undercutting that price point. And even with sales, that doesn't mean developers come running. Windows Phone sold 5 million devices last quarter (so maybe 10-15 million in total global sales since it launched?) and has 100K plus apps already, and even they are missing a lot of big name apps (e.g. Flipboard, Instagram, Words With Friends, Draw Something, etc.).

Is there really a startup-level company (Gram) that's had even a modest success in the modern smartphone market? No. Are there lots of behemoths failing and flailing? Oh, yes.


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How does that lock work? AT&T and Verizon were selling Palm phones, when they were making them. HP just stopped making them.

The major carriers are working the angle of selling smart phones at a discount for a 2 year contract hard. That and marketing prowess are the two main advantages they have over MVNO's. They would like nothing better than a really cheap, well-designed smart-phone to get people to sign up for 2-year contracts.
Again, that "cheap, well-designed smart phone to get people to sign up...." niche has been filled already. It's called 6 months ago's Android flagship. Hence, the One X on At&T's price being slashed. Or the Droid Razr being sold 2-for-1 at Verizon. Or Galaxy Nexus devices going for "free" to new customers at Sprint. I don't see a startup or OEM getting their hands on comparable tech to 4.65-inch 720p Super AMOLED screens and selling it at $0-$99 to match these devices. More likely you'd see something like the Kyocera Rise, a garbage device that'll be trapped on Sprint and a few prepaid carriers with no support. If that's the "last stand" of webOS phone hardware, just shoot it already....

I mean, AT&T and Verizon didn't really sell Palm webOS phones, did they? They offered them. If you are wondering what's the difference, ask RIM. They have Blackberry devices offered on virtually every carrier. Few are trying to sell them, and most are steering customers away toward Android devices. Sound familiar?
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Old 08/15/2012, 01:21 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Is there really a startup-level company (Gram) that's had even a modest success in the modern smartphone market? No. Are there lots of behemoths failing and flailing? Oh, yes.
I think jibboleh's post is pretty insightful. Consider that Palm, as a standalone company, even with Elevation Ventures' $$$, couldn't make it on their own -- they ran out of runway and were acquired by HP. This Gram quasi-spinoff would seem to put them right back at square one. Sure, maybe they're paying discounted rent on existing HP offices, and getting some economies of scale from central IT resources -- but we are a long way from Think Beyond, when Palm devices were seen as central to HP's future.

Obviously the writing has been on the wall since the hardware device cancelation that the Palm of old is not coming back -- how much does the name or logo of the new entity really matter, without devices on which to put it?

I think one obvious parallel in the industry is with what happened to NeXT in the 1990s. The 1988 unveiling of the machine at Davies Symphony Hall in SF drew worldwide headlines, but by 1993 the Cube (and all other hardware) was jettisoned in favor of their software. The parallels with WebOS are kind of eerie:

WebOS :: NextStep (only ran on proprietary hardware)
OpenWebOS :: OpenStep (which ran on Sun, HP, Intel and other hardware)
Enyo :: PDO/FoundationKit/EOF etc (standalone libraries which originally were part of Next's OS)

By the mid-1990s, Next was essential licensing bits and pieces of the tech which had originally made their operating system so special -- sort of what HP/Gram intends for Enyo, bracketing the revenue model differences.

While WebObjects and other Next technologies did enjoy behind-the-scenes success, we're a long way from Steve Jobs in a tux at the symphony, unveiling a brand new computer on stage. We wouldn't see that again until Jobs came back to Apple in the late 1990s.

The question then for Palm fans is -- what would the "iMac of WebOS" look like, and who will build it? That's what's needed for WebOS, before it can enjoy its own version of the success that Jobs produced with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad...
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Old 08/15/2012, 02:19 PM   #91 (permalink)
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That's a great post, man, and I think it highlights something that people forget when they cite the Steve Jobs/Apple turnaround of the past as reason to think webOS can do the same.

Steve Jobs unleashed the iMac in a world of grey, dull Wintel boxes. Same for the iPod into a world of indistinguishable, poorly marketed MP3 players. Same for the iPhone in a world of comparatively boring Windows Mobile, PalmOS, and Blackberry UIs.

That's not the smartphone market or the tablet market of 2012/2013. It's cutthroat, quite diverse, and there's clear differentiation among a few super-successful players who place a high priority on aesthetics already - none of whom are even close to resting on their laurels or coasting.

If Apple had been facing this kind of market in PCs or MP3 players or smartphones, I doubt they would've disrupted and owned those markets the way they did. And of course, they pretty much created the modern consumer tablet market.

That's not to say that lovers of webOS should abandon hope and jump ship. Far from it. But it's time to scale our expectations and hopes down from it being a commercially competitive product of any sort to it just being a viable one for enthusiasts.

It can be that, and that IS the good news in the title of this thread.
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Old 08/16/2012, 05:15 PM   #92 (permalink)
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Making it cheap is a non-starter in the US due to carrier subsidies which already offer a number of capable midrange Windows Phone and Android devices "free".
Most non-technical people I've known who've tried Android, there next phone was an iPhone. They got tired of little things here and there not working. (And I'm not anti-Android, it's actually my favorite mobile OS right now. I carry an Atrix).

The Windows brand is now synonymous with a broken computer. Even though, definitely by Windows 7, Microsoft has a pretty damn solid OS, their reputation was cast a long time ago, gonna take even longer to break it. The people buying Windows Phones probably don't even know it runs Windows. You do occasionally come across people who really like Windows on their PC's, but most don't.

Just because other people have tried it and failed doesn't mean it can't be done.

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(e.g. Flipboard, Instagram, Words With Friends, Draw Something, etc.).
Those aren't big names. I've never heard anybody say they won't buy a phone because it doesn't have a Draw Something app. These phones have little tiny screens, you just want to be able to see what your friends wrote on your wall and a few things like that.
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Old 08/16/2012, 05:19 PM   #93 (permalink)
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That's not to say that lovers of webOS should abandon hope and jump ship. Far from it. But it's time to scale our expectations and hopes down from it being a commercially competitive product of any sort to it just being a viable one for enthusiasts.
I've written several apps for iOS and Android, I would never bother to learn to develop for webOS right now. If some company decides to make a serious investment in webOS as a platform, there will be plenty of time for me to learn the platform and develop an app then.
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Old 08/16/2012, 07:23 PM   #94 (permalink)
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If Apple had been facing this kind of market in PCs or MP3 players or smartphones, I doubt they would've disrupted and owned those markets the way they did. And of course, they pretty much created the modern consumer tablet market.
Who knows what the market would have been if Apple didn't enter it.
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Old 08/17/2012, 06:52 AM   #95 (permalink)
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Most non-technical people I've known who've tried Android, there next phone was an iPhone. They got tired of little things here and there not working. (And I'm not anti-Android, it's actually my favorite mobile OS right now. I carry an Atrix).

The Windows brand is now synonymous with a broken computer. Even though, definitely by Windows 7, Microsoft has a pretty damn solid OS, their reputation was cast a long time ago, gonna take even longer to break it. The people buying Windows Phones probably don't even know it runs Windows. You do occasionally come across people who really like Windows on their PC's, but most don't.

Just because other people have tried it and failed doesn't mean it can't be done.
Not sure what you were trying to say here. iPhone is available on virtually every major carrier worldwide (and many minor ones). Android still sells like crazy and leads in marketshare, so the idea that "most non-technical people" are leading some mass exodus away from Android simply isn't supported by any sort of fact. Maybe you happen to know a group of particularly fickle and squeamish consumers? They are most certainly an exception to the rule.

Windows Phones have not, to date, run Windows. In fact, they ran an OS that was nothing like Windows 7. With Windows Phone 8, they will share a common core, but that is only expected to boost the platform's fortunes. And even with its mediocre standing thus far, there were more Windows Phones sold last quarter (5.1 million) than pretty much the entirety of every webOS phone and tablet....uhmm...ever.

The bar has been raised so high now that even a flagship like the Sony Xperia Ion with a huge 720p HD screen, Snapdragon S4 processor and 12 megapixel camera is being priced at $99 by AT&T and free at many other outlets because it won't be competitive with the Galaxy S 3 at the same price. Not even the One X sells at the price on AT&T anymore. Nokia's Lumia 900 is $50 or free depending on where you go.

That is what a "cheap" phone is these days. So a webOS phone couldn't gain any sort of advantage there.


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Those aren't big names. I've never heard anybody say they won't buy a phone because it doesn't have a Draw Something app. These phones have little tiny screens, you just want to be able to see what your friends wrote on your wall and a few things like that.
Draw Something is well over 50 million downloads. In fact, it's the fastest app to hit 50 million downloads ever. If you don't consider that and those other apps big names, I don't know what to tell you.
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Old 08/17/2012, 08:14 AM   #96 (permalink)
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Not sure what you were trying to say here. iPhone is available on virtually every major carrier worldwide (and many minor ones). Android still sells like crazy and leads in marketshare, so the idea that "most non-technical people" are leading some mass exodus away from Android simply isn't supported by any sort of fact. Maybe you happen to know a group of particularly fickle and squeamish consumers? They are most certainly an exception to the rule.
And they're buying the Android phones because they're cheap. The vast majority of Android phones, the phone makers don't make much margin on.

If you're going to mess with competing in that space, don't bother to write your own operating system. Just do it the cheap way, license Android, and be on your way.

Even though Apple sells less phones, they've got a much higher profit margin. If you're going to write your own OS, that's where you compete. In the space where people are willing to spend money on their phones.

And that's probably why I don't hear about the people buying Android phones, they just buy some stupid phone when they need a new one, they don't run around talking about it.

You just do a cheap device to get the phone in enough hands, then develop enough of a developer base, then sell more expensive phones now that you've established a reputation for superior design.

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Originally Posted by jibboleh;3345078 And even with its mediocre standing thus far, there were more Windows Phones sold last quarter (5.1 million) than pretty much the entirety of every webOS phone and tablet....uhmm...[B
ever[/B].
Because the smart phone market is bigger now. Plus, HP screwed up their marketing. I was looking at this yesterday. CNet reviewed the Palm Pre 2 when it was released, but they said not to buy it because the Palm Pre 3 was already announced and going to come out in a few months.. Just stupid.

Note that for developing software, I skipped over the webOS platform back then. But now that the iOS app market is crowded, if some company made a serious investment in getting the platform going, that would be serious enticement.

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The bar has been raised so high now that even a flagship like the Sony Xperia Ion with a huge 720p HD screen, Snapdragon S4 processor and 12 megapixel camera is being priced at $99 by AT&T and free at many other outlets because it won't be competitive with the Galaxy S 3 at the same price.
No, you're not going to make any money competing on hardware specs. Computers are already fast enough anyway, people don't need them faster. The days are over when Intel reaching 1 Ghz was a big deal.

No doubt there are Android phones with better hardware specs than iPhones. They still sell more iPhones than those Android phones.

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With Windows Phone 8, they will share a common core, but that is only expected to boost the platform's fortunes.
I wish I could remember where I saw it now. Just a week ago, I saw Microsoft has risen from 0.8% of the smartphone market to 2.3%. You could call it a boon if they went up to 4%. But Nokia still had to slash prices on the Lumina only 2 months after it was in the market.


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That is what a "cheap" phone is these days. So a webOS phone couldn't gain any sort of advantage there.
No, they wouldn't.

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Draw Something is well over 50 million downloads. In fact, it's the fastest app to hit 50 million downloads ever. If you don't consider that and those other apps big names, I don't know what to tell you.
It's not big enough to affect phone sales. Nobody says, "i'm not buying that phone because it doesn't have a Draw Something app."
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Old 08/17/2012, 08:43 AM   #97 (permalink)
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I don't think we're in much disagreement at all, except for the fact that you don't see app availability and lock-in as an incentive for people to not abandon Android or iOS for a lesser platform with a tiny fraction of the apps available. Not sure why you don't think that affects sales, but not worth beating into the ground.

I just don't think "a cheap enough device" means anything these days. You can get a super capable Android phone for cheap or free. A webOS phone sold at the same price would have no advantages, but would have significant drawbacks (no name recognition, no apps, no content ecosystem, etc.). Oh, and there's also the fact that the product has burned several carriers and retailers many times over already.

It's a great OS, but not for commercial purposes.
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Old 08/18/2012, 07:14 PM   #98 (permalink)
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I don't think we're in much disagreement at all, except for the fact that you don't see app availability and lock-in as an incentive for people to not abandon Android or iOS for a lesser platform with a tiny fraction of the apps available. Not sure why you don't think that affects sales, but not worth beating into the ground.
It does affect it, but only to a point. Yeah, there are some New York Times subscribers who would never switch to another phone if it doesn't have a New York times app. But there are plenty of people who don't read magazines at all, just want texting, facebook (who you could write your own app for), email, few things like that. Then you've got enough users that others start developing apps... Then you try to hit another milestone in your platform and ecosystem, and the another one after that, etc.. Each milestone you should be making more and more money... Eventually you get to the point where people demanding weird apps are interested in your phone.

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I just don't think "a cheap enough device" means anything these days.
All it means is enough people will end up with your phone that you can start developing a reputation.

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It's a great OS, but not for commercial purposes.
Probably not. HP has so many problems, if they can fix them at all, it'll take, say, five years. And then they can begin marketing webOS? there aren't many companies with the size that could pull off something like developing a market around a new webOS. Amazon buying webOS is the only company I can think of that would excite me. the others already have their fingers too deep in their own implementations or don't have the reputations that they could pull it off. Like Oracle is big enough, but aside from their database, it's all pretty disjointed enterprise software, nothing for the consumer.
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Old 08/18/2012, 07:27 PM   #99 (permalink)
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Part of the difference seems to be we disagree on various companies reputations. I think there's atrong snobbish aspect of customers that could be capitalized on becaus they want to like their phones.

I consider Microsoft's reputation so dead in the water, no matter how great a phone they develop, they'll never make it really big. People think Windows and they think broken computer.

Android's isn't as bad, but it's not a Michelin star reputation.

You need that Michelin star reputation so that people who have and will spend money will buy your phone. Not only so that you don't have to keep making all your phones cheap, but also that developers will know people who have your phone have money to spend.
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