Now that we have two worthy smartphone competitors and a small host of alternative devices like the Microsoft Slate and Apple AIR this might be a good mid-way point in the year to take a quick assessment of where we are.
- The Cloud is starting to mature with Apple improving the dashboard-like frontend to iCloud.
- The desparate need and demand for International patent reform is gaining traction and momentum.
- We are still seeing numerous weekly/daily hacks exposing Social Media passwords
- Social Media management is becoming a very hot topic and opportunity
- Traditional top-rung companies having serious sustainability issues
- Examples: RIM, HP, Dell, Cisco,
- Online education is “coming out”
- Pandora is virtually crushing traditional broadcast radio
- Rapidly Emerging “Ultrabook” market is flying really high
- Faster more robust bandwidth near: 4G, LTE, Internet 2
- Device and screen display technolgy getting much better
- Apple raises the bar with new iPhone and iPods
- Voice control technology proving to be key to the future
Why is it that most users hate the ways device makers and OS platform providers implement proprietary skins for their most desired devices?
Apple has engendered the philosophy that thankfully has taken root in the industry. Make the interface consistent and easy enough for most users to use without having to learn a whole new thing each time you install a new app or upgrade your OS.
In the Desktop world Sony and HP always made pretty great Windows OS and desktop extensions and system additions but users have universally resented and hated the learning curve burden placed upon them.
The added complexity never quite lived up to the promise and potential of skinning. Now user selected apps and widgets have become the preferred method of extending a user’s environment.
When new users acquire a new smartphone they wind up spending a hefty amount of time unistalling stuff and pairing down all the non-standard pre-installed “crapware”.
There is also another categorgy of Crapware that comes in when you download free apps and utilities so a rule of thumb is that caution should be exercised if you hate bunk stuff.
If you are an app-whore prone to grab any andeverything you can, good luck. You’ill need it! if you choose to open up Pandora’s box.
The Skins Game is just about over!
Where did HP fail with WebOS?
I would suggest that they chiefly failed to develop all essential aspects of a smartphone ecosystem.
So, It is not so much the iPhone or iPad devices that Android, RIM and others are actually competing against.
Their real enemy and the object of their attention should be on iOS and secondarily, the many innovative developers that program for it. I interpret HP’s recent move to mean that because of low margins hardware is a minor component in the ecosystem. The real money is in software and services.
What do I mean by ecosystem? Well, it takes ALL eight of the following:
- A superior Device
- An exceptional OS
- Strong Developer tools
- Innovative Developers
- A wealth of compellingApps
- An app delivery system
- A sales channel
- A reasonable pricing structure
According to sources at The Next Web HP’S WebOS Ran Twice as Fast on an iPad, so It wasn’t poor performance of the software that killed the TouchPad. HP’s webOS team hacked an iPad 2 to run the software — and it ended up. Even before the TouchPad tablet or Pre smartphone were officially released, the webOS developer team was so fed up with HP’s lackluster hardware that they “wanted them gone.”
HP rocked the tech world yesterday when it announced the company would no longer be producing webOS hardware, including the TouchPad tablet and Pre smartphones, after acquiring Palm last year for $1.2 billion.
The webOS software could still be licensed to third-party manufacturers. HP CEO Leo Apotheker cited lack of traction in the marketplace as a major reason for abandoning the mobile operation. The team of developers also deployed webOS within the iPad’s Mobile Safari browser and got similarly speedy results.
The TouchPad features a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with A8 architecture, while the iPad 2 houses a dual-core A5 chip based on the faster Cortex-A9 architecture.
According to The Next Web it was the hardware that reportedly stopped the team from innovating beyond certain points because it was slow and imposed constraints, which was highlighted when webOS was loaded on to Apple’s iPad device and found to run the platform significantly faster than the device for which it was originally developed.
So, this may not necessarily be the demise of WebOS, or the last word. It will take a real sharp innovative mind to figure out how to make it happen. But WebOS is a great starting point to build on.
In what can be nothing but a tremendous bad sign for HP, Computer Retailer Best Buy has said that they want to Return HP TouchPads supposedly due to poor demand.
It is probably an understatement, but the HP TouchPad tablet doesn’t seem to be doing so well on the market. It shocks no one but Apple’s iPad 2 and various Android devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab dominate the tablet market so completely that even many Android tablets are not selling particularly well either.
HP believes it still has a chance with its WebOS tablets but consumers site that the premium prices of TouchPads has dampened their enthusiasm.
This latest declaration by Best Buy could have a serious ripple effect that might cascade down through the whole tablet marketplace and in effect stifle HP’s high hopes.
If there is one tech company I would not bet against it is HP. With so much talent and capacity HP is in a position to get in the game in a big way. Can Mark Hurd and Randy Mott sparp up the magic? HP is knee deep in soon to be out-of-date legacy computers at the very junction of a revolution in new computing. Few would argue that is vital for HP kick it into high gear NOW and innovate.
The HP TouchPad is a first shot and has a good chance. Of course the iPad is the king of the tablets but others players have a chance of making it. HP’s TouchPad might be just the ticket, but it takes more than just a good device, among other things it takes a base of fanatical developers building apps and a store to drive a user marketplace
A great tablet and products could do well and bring in winners for HP. The HP TouchPad could easily be a contender.
So, what does the TouchPad have to claim a place?
- #1: price: $499 for the 16GB model: $599 for the 32GB
- #2 availability: July 1st, with pre-orders starting June 19th
- .#3: WebOS. WebOS is a good platform.
- #4 Design: TouchPad looks good and sturdy.
- #5: HP is recovering from Carly Fiorina’s mis-guidance
- ???: If Apps are the backbone of iOS can HP measure up?
- +: HP labs innovation
- +: HP is large enough to implement multiple initiatives
- - : HP’s been growing by cutting HP has cut staff, reduced costs