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HP: Tablet Effect Is RealHP: Tablet Effect Is Real

7:40 PM Tablets, with the exception of HP's own TouchPad, have become so popular that its device business can't keep up

Sarah Thomas

August 18, 2011

1 Min Read
HP: Tablet Effect Is Real

7:45 PM -- HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) has fallen victim to what CEO Leo Apotheker called "the tablet effect." Explained one way, it is what happens when everyone makes a solid, successful tablet except for you. (See HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz.)

How Apotheker meant it, however, is that the growth of (again, other people's) tablets has hurt its PC business to the point that it is evaluating what to do with its Personal Systems Group (PSG), made up of PCs, smartphones and tablets.

"The tablet effect is real," Apotheker said Thursday on the company's third-quarter earnings call. The nature and speed of the devices industry was too much for HP to handle, and he admitted HP's ramp-up times were too long.

HP's try at a tablet, the TouchPad, debuted on July 1, but sales didn't meet expectations, despite strong reviews for the device's software. Unable to compete at price parity with most models on the market, HP lowered the TouchPad's price by $100, causing the company to take a loss. (See HP TouchPad Success Hangs on Apps.)

Now HP is exploring all its options for both the PSG and its webOS business, hoping the software will impress other companies, even if the hardware couldn't. It might be a tough sell, but Apotheker stressed that HP is really open to any avenue it can pursue.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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