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  • 1 Post By ToniCipriani
  1.    #1  
    Just casting this question out there for discussion.

    I've been sitting here, poring over the Pre3 whining and such, and I realized something (thanks in no small part to a recent mini-novella by GodShapedHole): I don't care what anyone thinks about webOS, as long as it survives.

    I don't care about specs, or a giant phone portfolio, or hundreds of thousands of apps. I just want to keep using webOS on my mobile (non-tablet) device. If HP keeps kicking out one or two new webOS phones a year, I'm fine with that. I like being a niche product user.

    So my question is ... will HP continue in the phone space? It seems likely they will, but their focus seems very split between the desktop, tablet, and handheld markets. Their experience is in larger-screen computing, and clearly that's where they're looking to go with webOS.

    The phones play an important part of their larger ecosystem idea, which makes me believe they'll keep putting out new phones, but they don't seem enthusiastic about them. Is this just the way things are now, because they're still pushing TouchPad, or is this a sign of HP's attitude going forward?

    Your thoughts. Share them.
  2. #2  
    HP has been producing mobile smartphones for several years before webOS. No one bought them, and HP didnt care. I suspect the same for webOS now, only with a slightly larger user base.
    I hope to be one of them. I actually like using a device no one else does.
  3. #3  
    I sold plenty of iPaq hw6515s and hw6915s back in the day. Consumers weren't buying them, no, but for business, that was the hot stuff. Those particular models were one of the few you could buy with an unlocked GPS radio in them, which meant you could run TomTom on them without having to use a separate bluetooth GPS receiver. That was pretty unique back then.
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  4. #4  
    At the bare minimum I feel HP will always provide phones at least for enterprise...They have this one insane advantage that they can use on big companies and government departments...

    "You are buying 50 servers, 500 laptops and 1000 printers from us...Well look at these smartphones we have over here!! Why dont we throw in 2000 of these!!...Let talk..."

    No other company can offer this service, not apple, google, ibm, microsoft, none of them....HP can make tons of deals like this and with smaller companies too and all over the it makes sense for them to stay in the smartphone business when they have a ready made market all to themselves...

    And keeping webOS smartphones viable in the consumer market only makes them more desirable in the enterprise...
  5. #5  
    Hi folks

    While some of the intial attempts at true 4G devices/phones (Atrix, Thundebolt, etc) might fall short in one way or another, I think it is fair to say they show the way things will be.

    Phones? Nah! More like Personal Communicator, information portal, pocket buddy, social network interface, internet connection for other devices (mifi), wallet, proof of identification, ...

    I truly hope the powers that be at HPalm no longer think of this as a decision about being in the "Phone market". I HAVE to think that the Palm acquisition was about ecosystems of products (yes, yes... 'Printers", but also...) TVs, tablets, cars, kitchen appliances(?)...

    If not, and they release (?) products like pre3 when LTE phones are all the rage, well, we might be participating in other forums a year from now.

    Just my $.02

  6. #6  
    I dont see any reason to believe HP will discontinue phones. I think when they fully get into all their products communicating together seamlessly, they will have something big and this wouldn't even be a question.
  7. #7  
    I think it's a possibility that they'd stop making phone but not a certainty by any means.

    I think HP bought Palm to use WebOS in tablets to counteract their declining desktop, laptop, and netbook sales that many attribute to the growth of the ipad. Now whether ipad is causing that is debatable but i think that is their thinking. The evidence of that attitude I see is the talk early on that was almost exclusively about webos on tablets and printers. The early statements that they didn't buy Palm for phones, or something to that effect that they later had to back track on. I think like when people are drunk, the first thing they said was probably the most truthful one. I also think that's why i think the big effort they've shown so far is for tablets not phones. The Veer launch struck me as kinda half-hearted. I think the fact that webos 3 is more on tablets but not ready for phones is further evidence that their focus is more on the tablet space then the phone space. And the recent statements that they may not be on phones for a while shows me they really haven't had 3.0 being on phones as priority number one. The last thing i think that make me think this way is the fact that it's taken so long to release a phone. I can only speak for myself but i'd have gone Pre 3 first well before a touchpad or veer. Oh one more thing. Leo also said this last quarter “Q3 is going to be another tough quarter, one in which we will be driving hard for revenue and profit. We have absolutely no room for profitless revenue or any discretionary expenditures." So they clearly earnings pressure at HP after a bad quarter. Thus i think that under that pressure to not have profitless revenue if there is a slip up in phones it could push them to consider dumping phones. I don't think any of this alone means they'll drop phones just that phones where not their first priority.

    I think that is understandable too because phones before the veer launch and likely after remain a very small part of HP's total revenue. I don't have the must up to date earnings but I recall Derek stating during a podcast that phones accounted for less then 1% of Personal systems group revenue. PSG is the biggest HP group but still, its less then one percent of 31% of the total. That's not huge. So 69% of revenue is coming from other areas like imaging, services and enterprise storage. Now that 1% is surely to grow with the launch of veer and touchpad, and we don't have those earnings until i think the 18th of August, but considering how massive HP is i think it would have to be at iphone level sales to become a major share of PSG revenue. Thus if push came to shove i could imagine HP saying, "we can just have webos tablets, and not make phones and not take a revenue hit because phones make up a very small part of that group plus tablets are much more in our comfort zone, wifi tablets sell better then 3Gs so less influence by carriers, so it would be easier anyways. Plus there always the the chance to just license webos and not have to deal with costs of designing, manufacturing, and supporting hardware."

    I don't think they'd quit right away. I think if phones didn't sell well enough to justify continued development i think there is a chance they'd float em a year and see if they can get some traction i the following year. But after that i think if it's not profitable they'd cut their losses and dump phones. But again it would strictly be a business decision if it wasn't profitable.

    I only had an old earnings report from Q4 2010 but this is the revenue breakdown. i'm sure the percentages for the last quarter are somewhat similar.

    HP Q4 Revenue Breakdown
    31% Personal Systems Group (55% notebooks, 38% desktops, 5% workstations 2% "other" Phones were in the other)
    27% Services
    21% Imaging (60% is ink, lol)
    15% Enterprise storage and servers
    3% Software
    2% HP Financial Services

    Another interesting thing i noticed was only 31% of all HP revenue came from the U.S.. South America was the biggest. If Palm phones are not global too that could hurt. That could also be something to cling too too. As in, "Well we (HP) need to wait till we get the phones in Asia and south America and Europe to really determining if it's profitable. It may also be an indication why Palm Pre 3 is launching in Europe. Europe generated more revenue then U.S. did too.

    Only time will tell how much phones contribute and if that amount is enough to justify making phones.

    edit: came across this "Apotheker noted that revenue from the HP Personal Systems Group (the division responsible for making HP’s computers and where the Palm Global Business Unit resides) declined 5% on weakening consumer demand for PCs, though corporate sales remained strong. Though not explicitly mentioned, it’s safe to assume that the Apple iPad has been eating into HP’s lower-end PC revenues, a tide they hope to stem with the upcoming release of the HP TouchPad." HP Q2 2011 earnings up, forecasts a weak third quarter | The #1 HP webOS, TouchPad, Pre, and Veer Community |

    so i think there may be added pressure on this group to perform after a decline last quarter. But with the touchpad launch maybe that will give it some revenue pop.

    Here's another reality check. I just looked up 4th quarter revenues for PSG and they were $10 Billion. 1% of that is $100 million so i wonder if they are looking for $100 million or more in sales from phones. Key to note this was Q4 2010 and revenues fell 5% after that. But either way to move that percentage dial a lot it's going to take hundreds of millions of dollars in webos sales, phones or touchpads or printers or toasters. HP Investor Relations - Financial news

    Bottom line though if phones are profitable they'll keep doing it. If they aren't i'd put money on them stopping at some point. Not saying it will happen just that its possible and i could see a scenario of events that made it happen.

    PS: I'm sure i made someone mad by writing this. Feel free to respond, it's a free country and i don't mind people disagreeing with me. I'm just stating an opinion. So if you want to bullet point my post and pick it apart fine but I can't guarantee that i'll respond to your response. This is just an opinion responding to the original poster question. I'm not interested in some angry debate with people. And i'm not saying Webos is dead.
    Last edited by SnotBoogie; 08/02/2011 at 10:49 PM.
    You come at the king. You best not miss.
  8. #8  
    HP always had phones, even if they were bottom of the charts and you barely see them anywhere.

    Remember the Glisten? iPaq messenger?

    All HP phones

    If anything I'd be interested to see if they bring webOS back to the Glisten (i.e. Pixi) form factor. Picture this, but replace those 4 Android buttons with a gesture area and a nicer Curve-grade keyboard: Motorola ‘Pax’ for Sprint said to be a beefed-up XPRT with dual-core processor | This is my next...

    Also one thing: don't forget the TouchPad's biggest differentiator is its integration with webOS phones. Without the phone integration, Touch-to-Share, the TouchPad is just another lame duck tablet that's no different than the others.
    Last edited by ToniCipriani; 08/02/2011 at 11:20 PM.
    Palm IIIc -> Sony CLIÉ T650C -> Sony TJ-37 -> Palm TX -> Palm Centro -> Palm Pre Bell -> Palm Pre Plus Bell/Verizon Hybrid -> HP Veer -> HP Pre 3 NA -> BlackBerry Classic -> BlackBerry Priv

    It's a Late Goodbye, such a Late Goodbye.

    Need OEM Palm Pre parts? See here
    Cantaffordit likes this.

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