Thursday, April 29, 2010

HP and Palm, a good match

These two companies might very well go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Palm has a very good smart phone matching or exceeding some of the capabilities of the iPhone. HP needed a platform by which to enter the growing market of smart phones and tablets. Palm needed the distribution strength, the capability to educated store sales people, and international expansion potential. HP has strong distribution via their PC business, a well developed plan on how to train and incentivize store sales people and international presence.

Challenges still remain namely working with carriers especially in the US, and growing the number of applications to compete with the iPhone and Android. But these are table stakes in the business.

Having a separate brand is not a problem. Palm, an HP company can be the smart phone and tablet brand. HP can be the PC brand. HP has reputation for quality, ease of use, and stability from their products in printer and PC business. The Slate, HP’s current tablet brand can be for enterprise use and the Palm version can be the consumer tablet.

This also gives HP a greater entre into the enterprise. The mobile workers want an easy to use device like the iPhone, but with a keypad, that can do multiple applications and effectively surf the web. The enterprise wants a secure, enterprise device that it can control. Palm can do this.

As a hardware play, the smart phone market is a good one if you have a hot product. The smart phone market is growing, and people typically change out their phones every two years or less so there is a good residual market.

HP is about putting the most technology in people’s hand so that they can use it, making it easy for people to use, and creating a strong customer relationship via care. Apple may have the best user interface but they do not always give the consumer the most technology options. The Blackberry is about messaging, email, and security. Android is about giving the customers technology and power in their handsets with a good experience, but not always with a strong focus on customer care. Nokia is about providing good smart phones to the masses and international markets. There is an opportunity for HP to connect the dots and rise in this market doing it the HP way.

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