Ken777
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HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:18 pm

This was a shock.

Quote:

Hewlett-Packard Co., the world’s largest computer maker, is in talks to buy Autonomy Corp. for about $10 billion and plans to spin off its personal-computer business, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?...3C4QSHD2PKRC5G8CNK3&wpisrc=al_tech

Making it even odder was the release of results showing that Apple had overtaken HP in the Mobile PC business, which is where the profits are.

http://www.displaysearch.com/cps/rde...hare_position_from_hp_in_q2_11.asp
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:36 pm

They should revive the Compaq name, which used to mean something. They were THE brand for portables years ago.
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casinterest
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:03 pm

Looks like HP is going to the cloud and databases. trying to spin off the low margin PC business that is hampering their growth.
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Klaus
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:59 pm

The problem for not just HP, but essentially for all other PC makers is that making generic Windows boxes can't provide sufficient margins to get anywhere.

Even Lenovo has seen Apple eclipse its total sales in value on its own home turf in greater China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) by now – and they're already using up IBM's discarded PC business at this point.

Apple overtakes Lenovo in China sales - FT.com

There is just no significant value creation in the PC market any more – and if this trend solidifies, this spells trouble for Microsoft as well, since it is in fact Microsoft who's harvesting most of the profit from every PC sold worldwide. The actual manufacturer sees only a fraction of the profits Microsoft does. If the value of these sales continues to erode, revenues and profits for Microsoft will erode with them, and the total market would continue to slide towards the bottom end relative to Apple as the only remaining integrated system manufacturer who will then continue to rake in an even larger part of the total profits made in the industry than it does already.

Given the way the PC market works, do the manufacturers have any viable way out of this scenario? I don't see many options there, particularly in the short-to-medium term.
 
ALTF4
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:08 pm

Sell it to Dell and be done with it. Then we can all have awesome or horrible computers, depending on who you ask!
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Klaus
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:22 pm

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 4):
Sell it to Dell and be done with it.

Dell is suffering from essentially the same problem. They might turn around if they lost the PC business, but Michael Dell (of "if I was in charge of Apple, I'd shut it down and return the money to the shareholders" fame in 1997) doesn't appear to be quite there yet, possibly due to his non-PC business being weaker than HP's by comparison.
 
Klaus
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:40 pm

The HP news has another interesting wrinkle to it:

According to the WSJ, HP will also get rid of its mobile device hardware business, but will hold on to the WebOS software and its development.
(Sorry, a.net destroys any attempt to link to the actual article.)

This is clearly in symmetry to Google just acquiring Motorola which has obviously been felt like a punch in the face by Google's Android partners HTC, Samsung et al, who appear to be considering OS alternatives for their handsets and tablet devices.

And so it happens that HP is morphing from a hardware manufacturer into a software & service provider to bring balance to the force, so to say.

That HP's own tablet attempt appears to just have fallen flat (less than 10% sell-through of Best Buy's stock, apparently, not even accounting for returns!) might not exactly instill the greatest of confidence either, but at least HP won't compete with potential licensees any more, other than Google/Motorola.

"Interesting times" in the industry, for sure!
 
Ken777
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:44 pm

It gets even crazier. HP is dropping WebOS and closing out the tablet. With WebOS shut down the WebOS phones will also cease production.

The final point is that HP is in discussions to buy Autonomy for $10 Billion. With 60% being cash.

I can't remember how much HP paid for Compaq, but that was money down the drain, just like the Palm deal apparently is.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
The problem for not just HP, but essentially for all other PC makers is that making generic Windows boxes can't provide sufficient margins to get anywhere.

Even Lenovo has seen Apple eclipse its total sales in value on its own home turf in greater China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) by now – and they're already using up IBM's discarded PC business at this point.

This has also been rolling around in my mind. I can remember when the PC market was still climbing (late 80s or early 90s) and the IBM CEO came out and made it clear that IBM was not in the commodity business and would stay in the PC market only as long as it wasn't a commodity. They jumped early to sell off the division and maximized their profits.

Then the Compaq group maximized their profits in the HP sale.

Question today is who is left to sell a PC company to?
 
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Tugger
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:58 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
It gets even crazier. HP is dropping WebOS and closing out the tablet. With WebOS shut down the WebOS phones will also cease productio

If I read correctly I think they will be continuing to support and own/license WebOS, just letting the wider phone and tablet market make the hardware rather than doing it themselves.

Tugg
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NIKV69
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:01 pm

This doesn't include printers does it? HP makes the best!
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Klaus
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:11 pm

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 9):
This doesn't include printers does it? HP makes the best!

Wouldn't surprise me if they kept those – printer ink: the most expensive fluid this side of purified endorphins...!   
 
racko
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:34 pm

Well, maybe somebody else will finally build a proper smartphone around the fantastic WebOS.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
This is clearly in symmetry to Google just acquiring Motorola which has obviously been felt like a punch in the face by Google's Android partners HTC, Samsung et al, who appear to be considering OS alternatives for their handsets and tablet devices.

I'm pretty sure the Motorola acquisition was mostly done to armor up for the stupid patent wars. No upside for Google in sidelining HTC & Samsung when it comes to Android development.
 
Klaus
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:42 pm

Quoting racko (Reply 11):
I'm pretty sure the Motorola acquisition was mostly done to armor up for the stupid patent wars. No upside for Google in sidelining HTC & Samsung when it comes to Android development.

Probably by intention, yes. But that is what they actually got in the process, and not by surprise, really.

Google couldn't possible not have known the consequences of acquiring a competitor of their other partners, and one who was in the process of suing those other partners on top of that.

What's the saying? "Out of the frying pan, into the fire!"
 
Fyano773
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:28 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
There is just no significant value creation in the PC market any more – and if this trend solidifies, this spells trouble for Microsoft as well, since it is in fact Microsoft who's harvesting most of the profit from every PC sold worldwide. The actual manufacturer sees only a fraction of the profits Microsoft does. If the value of these sales continues to erode, revenues and profits for Microsoft will erode with them, and the total market would continue to slide towards the bottom end relative to Apple as the only remaining integrated system manufacturer who will then continue to rake in an even larger part of the total profits made in the industry than it does already.

AFAIK, MS main source of revenues is the MS Office suite; corporate users with business desktops and notebooks use it as the primary tool at the office.

MS is also going to the cloud, enterprise services and software such as Dynamics and several other server applications with a common base in the way of SQL Server. Licensing contracts with corporations are also huge for Redmond, so I see MS with a dominant position in the years to come.

About the spin-off of the PC division, it would be interesting how customers react to this action, because many of them usually paired the HP desktops with ProLiant servers in order to have one sole hardware vendor and simplify maintenance, leasing contracts, operations, etc.

Regards...
 
travelin man
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:54 am

HP is basically going the same route that IBM did. I'd be shocked if they held onto the printer business. The margins there (printer ink aside) are not great, when compared to services, software, and consulting.
 
stlgph
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:16 am

Quoting racko (Reply 11):
I'm pretty sure the Motorola acquisition was mostly done to armor up for the stupid patent wars.

there's nothing stupid about patents. Intellectual Property is a new trend that Wall Street is waking up to and it's going to bring a lot of value in the coming year or two to a lot of older companies who have seen their stock value plummet. the latest example -- Eastman Kodak.

Quoting travelin man (Reply 14):

HP is basically going the same route that IBM did. I'd be shocked if they held onto the printer business. The margins there (printer ink aside) are not great, when compared to services, software, and consulting.

*ding*

it's pretty much a done deal with Autonomy - just fine lines needed for tax purposes and the papers should be signed.
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:17 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
According to the WSJ, HP will also get rid of its mobile device hardware business, but will hold on to the WebOS software and its development.

I'm not sure why, it's such a tiny player in the market.

Sad to see the end of PalmOS, but they really never did stay competitive as the industry transitioned from PDAs to smartphones.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
And so it happens that HP is morphing from a hardware manufacturer into a software & service provider to bring balance to the force, so to say.

I know some HP engineers and their biggest complaint is that the company has done all it can do to get rid of engineering talent. Everything it can outsource it has outsourced. I have a hard time seeing how they will pull off this kind of transition given the lack of in-house talent.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 9):
This doesn't include printers does it? HP makes the best!

I don't like HP printers very much.

It seems they don't have a detailed plan for how they are going to go about getting out of the 'PC' business.

I've read they still want to keep making data center servers (just like IBM still does) because they do have a healty enough profit margin.

I've read they want to get rid of consumer PCs, tablets and smartphones.

No word yet on printers.
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:45 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
It gets even crazier. HP is dropping WebOS and closing out the tablet. With WebOS shut down the WebOS phones will also cease production.

According to VP at HP they remain committed to webOS

VP Stephen DeWitt, who made it clear that HP will continue work on webOS, with the likely end goal of licensing the OS. He was reportedly “adamant,” saying that “We are not walking away from webOS,” with the goal of having the platform’s future outlined within two weeks. HP VP, Personal Systems Group, pointed out that HP could license webOS, since it’s designed to work on popular Qualcomm chips.

Sounds like some deals are over the horizon, especially the specific mention that the "future outlined within two weeks".


At the end of the day, webOS is a great platform and could possibly reach a much broader audience being licensed as opposed to the currently being on only HP hardware.
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Ken777
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:33 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
At the end of the day, webOS is a great platform and could possibly reach a much broader audience being licensed as opposed to the currently being on only HP hardware.

I'm glad to see that they are keeping something going from the Palm investment.

As for the future, what type of markets would it be attractive to?

Mobile computing is going to be a battle between MS. Google and Apple. If Google and/or Apple brings their mobile and desktop OSes together that is going to put on a lot more pressure on the market.

A lot of industrial markets (like Medical) are fairly well set.

I'll look forward to some positive news on HP before too long.
 
Cadet985
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:44 am

This blows. I love my HP laptop, and was planning on HP being the maker of my next laptop. Now, it looks like I'll have the following choices: Dell (crap), Lenovo (know nothing about them), or Acer (complete garbage). I wouldn't even consider using an Apple laptop if Steve Jobs showed up on my doorstep, put one in my hands, and paid me to use it.

Marc
 
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LAXintl
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:03 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 18):
As for the future, what type of markets would it be attractive to?

I suppose by licensing to a broad set of clients from consumer to industrial users.

One of HPs strengths is its huge corporate client base. It could certainly embed webOS into various applications and platforms is markets and sells itself in that arena.

It seems to be the place in the market for Apple and Google OS is set, the current battle is for a 3rd platform spot with webOS and Win7 being the two contenders. With my experience with both it should not be a battle at all except for the heavy weight market presence MS can throw around in trying to keep its platform alive.

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 19):
This blows. I love my HP laptop, and was planning on HP being the maker of my next laptop.

And there likely will be HP laptops for a while to come.

The headline today is...

H.P. Weighs Spinning Off Its PC Unit
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/te...ift-toward-business-customers.html

Some pertinent quotes for you...

In a sweeping change for Hewlett-Packard, Leo Apotheker, the technology giant’s chief executive, said Thursday that he was considering spinning off the company’s personal computer business into a separate company...

and

H.P. said it would take 12 to 18 months to decide what to do with the PC unit. Meanwhile, it will continue to run the business as usual.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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nighthawk
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:29 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
There is just no significant value creation in the PC market any more – and if this trend solidifies, this spells trouble for Microsoft as well, since it is in fact Microsoft who's harvesting most of the profit from every PC sold worldwide. The actual manufacturer sees only a fraction of the profits Microsoft does. If the value of these sales continues to erode, revenues and profits for Microsoft will erode with them

Quite the opposite actually - this is good news for Microsoft. While revenue from PC sales has dropped, the actual number of units shipped has increased, this is due to falling costs per unit. It has been Microsoft's aim since the beginning to commoditise the PC hardware market, doing so causes the price per unit to fall, leading to more units selling. This means more sales of Windows, and more revenue for Microsoft.
 
Klaus
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:25 am

Quoting Fyano773 (Reply 13):
AFAIK, MS main source of revenues is the MS Office suite; corporate users with business desktops and notebooks use it as the primary tool at the office.

Windows licensing is the other big profit source for MS. Pretty much everything else is marginal or losing money.

Quoting Fyano773 (Reply 13):
MS is also going to the cloud, enterprise services and software such as Dynamics and several other server applications with a common base in the way of SQL Server.

How many companies actually make money with that kind of scheme?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 16):
I'm not sure why, it's such a tiny player in the market.

Sad to see the end of PalmOS, but they really never did stay competitive as the industry transitioned from PDAs to smartphones.

It could get significant pretty quickly if one or more o the larger hardware makers should ditch Android for it after Google's Motorola stunt.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 18):
Mobile computing is going to be a battle between MS. Google and Apple.

Google is still in a rather precarious situation there; The Motorola acquisition doesn't really help them out of that; In some ways it makes it worse.

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 21):
Quite the opposite actually - this is good news for Microsoft. While revenue from PC sales has dropped, the actual number of units shipped has increased, this is due to falling costs per unit. It has been Microsoft's aim since the beginning to commoditise the PC hardware market, doing so causes the price per unit to fall, leading to more units selling. This means more sales of Windows, and more revenue for Microsoft.

The number of units is in recession right now (with only Apple bucking that trend), and worse than that, the upper high-margin segment is increasingly lost to PC makers as they continue their journey to the bottom of the barrel. With Windows increasingly turning into a second-rate commodity product in public perception, margin pressure at the manufacturers will in turn put pressure on Microsoft's margins as well. They've already felt it with the netbooks, and with growing desperation among the manufacturers, at some point they might even give Linux another shot, which is about the worst that could happen from Microsoft's point of view.
 
ltbewr
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:35 am

The consumer PC, related tablets and phone markets are so price competitive and expensive to run that the profits are not there or too thin. Compound that with the many problems with Microsoft software they have always had, the difficulty to use it, the ease for it to be corrupted by hackers and it's no wonder few want to be makers of the equipment to the consumer.

Sadly, I expect another product line ownership move from a USA based company to a Chinese one, much like almost all of the manufacturing of computers and related equipment have been shifted to there.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:40 am

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 19):
Now, it looks like I'll have the following choices

What about Sony, Samsung, LG, Fujitsu, Toshiba?

[Edited 2011-08-19 03:41:19]
 
NIKV69
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:23 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 16):
I don't like HP printers very much.

I've found them to be probably the best out there. I hope they stick around.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
StuckInCA
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:41 pm

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 19):
This blows. I love my HP laptop, and was planning on HP being the maker of my next laptop. Now, it looks like I'll have the following choices: Dell (crap), Lenovo (know nothing about them), or Acer (complete garbage). I wouldn't even consider using an Apple laptop if Steve Jobs showed up on my doorstep, put one in my hands, and paid me to use it.
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
What about Sony, Samsung, LG, Fujitsu, Toshiba?

I highly recommend Sony. They aren't always fully price competitive but I think they are (generally) nicer than Dell, Toshiba and HP in my opinion.
 
Acheron
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:01 pm

Gotta love the Apple crowd.

"Tis because PC sucks and Apple rulz!!!!11111"

"PC are so generic and so uncool, I love my Apple/fashion statement!"
 
melpax
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:18 pm

Don't forget that HP also owns what was known as EDS - now called HP enterprise solutions. They must be making a bucket load from that side of the business....
Essendon - Whatever it takes......
 
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LAXintl
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:37 pm

Quoting melpax (Reply 28):
Don't forget that HP also owns what was known as EDS - now called HP enterprise solutions. They must be making a bucket load from that side of the business....

Yea if they can properly figure out how to integrate it, and do something with it.

The EDS acquisition was far from smooth, with entire divisions still hanging in limbo without concise new marching orders or game plan in place under HP. (eg the airline solution side of the house)

HP holdings and portfolio is so big, if you'd quiz the CEO about some of it, I'd doubt he'd even know about its existence.
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Revelation
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:56 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 22):
Quoting Fyano773 (Reply 13):
MS is also going to the cloud, enterprise services and software such as Dynamics and several other server applications with a common base in the way of SQL Server.

How many companies actually make money with that kind of scheme?

With respect to cloud, I don't think many, but it seems they all are trying.

Just go to a job search web site (indeed.com is my favorite) and search on "cloud" and you'll be buried in hits.

"Cloud" is the buzzword of the current era, just like "internet" was in the previous era.

When I ask some folks to explain to me what "cloud" is, they go, "you know, it's, ah, a cloud!".

Oh well, thank god Linux hacking is still in huge demand.
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Ken777
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:16 pm

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 19):
I wouldn't even consider using an Apple laptop if Steve Jobs showed up on my doorstep, put one in my hands, and paid me to use it.

How about an iPad?  Wow!
Quoting Acheron (Reply 27):
Gotta love the Apple crowd.

You need to remember that most of the Mac users today were PC users that had a reason for changing.

Mine was the fact that the outstanding customer service Dell used to have was lost when they turned it over to a third party company to get it done on the cheap. One week of misery working with them on a problem and I started looking at other companies. I had used an IBM X series on the road and liked it, but their service was a bit arrogant to a really small customer. And Apple had the best rated customer service for consumers.
 
ALTF4
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:43 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 29):
Yea if they can properly figure out how to integrate it, and do something with it.

You're kidding, right? I work with that group every day - they do a good job and the whole section of the company seems to do well.

I know they have taken over IT operations for multiple companies, similar to Siemens (now Atos?).
The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:46 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):
Mine was the fact that the outstanding customer service Dell used to have was lost when they turned it over to a third party company to get it done on the cheap.

I would say that in some parts of the world NCR took over the service and support of Dell products, they did a much better job of it than Dell did.
 
Ken777
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:59 pm

It only gets worse for HP as the market is downgrading them:

Quote:

Shares of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) have deepened their losses in pre-market trading since last night’s drop following the company’s fiscal Q3 earnings report and a rather disappointing outlook: the stock is now down $5.51, or almost 19%, at $24.

Update: Since opening, the drop has continued, with the stock now down $5.96, over 20%, at $23.55.

Following remarks by CEO Leo Apotheker on last night’s conference call, to the effect that HP is set to embark on a multi-quarter “transformation” that may see a jettisoning of its PC business, the stock has received six downgrades that I can see, from RW Baird, UBS, Needham & Co., Sterne Agee, Deutsche Bank, and CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets.
http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderd...-autonomy-bid-massively-expensive/

I can see the drop in share price, with it coming back up, but the downgrades and the overpayment for Autonomy is not pretty.

The other ugly part will be getting rid of the remaining inventory. Apparently there is about $100 million in inventory and it is not selling. Especially not now. Maybe I'll get one at $100 for the grandkids, but it would have little long term value.
 
Klaus
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 34):
The other ugly part will be getting rid of the remaining inventory. Apparently there is about $100 million in inventory and it is not selling. Especially not now.

They've apparently earmarked the respective sum for a complete writeoff of the tablets (any residual sales sure wouldn't hurt, but they're not counting on them). Dumping them into a landfill (as Apple infamously did with unsold Lisas in the eighties) is probably out of the question, so there might be some major discounts to be had on the remaining stock.

There will probably be some damage to the brand in the PC market as well, but if they can keep inventory low enough, there may just be a reduction in sales but at their dismal margins that wouldn't hurt them much as long as they don't actually sit on piles of unsold boxes at the end of the drawdown (or at the point when they've found a buyer).

The sad thing is that the old HP once was the premium brand of electronic calculators with absolutely unmatched mechanical quality and an Apple-like obsession with their products (coming from the creation of similarly high-quality electronic lab equipment).

I still cherish my trusty old HP calculator (one of the old LED models!), but when they turned into yet another generic PC manufacturer that old spirit was pretty much lost, and the HP of today is almost unrecognizable to anyone knowing them from their earlier days.

Bonus trivia:

According to reports, the HP webOS team ran WebOS (which is mostly HTML-based as the name suggests) on an iPad for comparison and found that on the iPad it ran "significantly" to "many times" faster than on its native HP hardware.

Apple's new "spaceship campus" is actually being constructed on a piece of land that had formerly been the HP headquarters before they moved away and sold it to Apple.
 
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par13del
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:44 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
Given the way the PC market works, do the manufacturers have any viable way out of this scenario?

Yes, go talk to Apple.

What I thought when readig the initial article was that this massive change was based on the desires of one individual, certainely he had to convince the board but if the head wants something chances are good that all will fall in line.
This is not an abandonment of a line / product that is not performing up to spec, but a total change from a leading provider.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:03 pm

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 26):
I highly recommend Sony. They aren't always fully price competitive but I think they are (generally) nicer than Dell, Toshiba and HP in my opinion.

Actually they share manufacturers. Notebooks are nearly all made by specialized manufacturers. Dell, Apple, Sony do not make their own notebooks as far as I know.

The biggest manufacturer in the world I think is called Compal, out of Taiwan. Their computers are sold as Acer Inc., Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, and Fujitsu Siemens Computers, among others.

Then comes Quanta, also from Taiwan, which makes notebooks for Apple Inc., Compaq, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Alienware, Casper, Cisco, Fujitsu, Gericom, Lenovo, LG, Maxdata, MPC, Research In Motion, Sharp Corporation, Siemens AG, Sony, Sun Microsystems, and Toshiba.
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Cadet985
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:20 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):
How about an iPad?

Honestly, I have no use for an iPad at all. I can browse the internet on my phone (Android), and I read on my Kindle. I have an iPod that I haven't used in months...don't even think I'll replace that before my next transatlantic flight, or even take it.

Marc
 
Klaus
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:00 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 36):
What I thought when readig the initial article was that this massive change was based on the desires of one individual, certainely he had to convince the board but if the head wants something chances are good that all will fall in line.

Highly unlikely. When they installed an explicit software & services guy with no hardware experience at the top, that die had already been cast before that.

Quoting par13del (Reply 36):
This is not an abandonment of a line / product that is not performing up to spec, but a total change from a leading provider.

The issue is that HP is "leading" a segment that's not providing any meaningful profits and may dip into the loss-making zone at any slight disturbance.

With the WebOS attempt being underfunded and halfhearted, which apparently contributed to its poor result, but the result remains the same: When you compare the big announcements HP made in the original presentation with the extremely poor sales that actually happened, that one can only be considered a failure as well – and you can either pump manpower and money into it, trying to resuscitate it until you reach success, or you cut your losses, which is apparently what they've chosen to do.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 37):
Actually they share manufacturers. Notebooks are nearly all made by specialized manufacturers. Dell, Apple, Sony do not make their own notebooks as far as I know.

To very different specifications, however. Those contract manufacturing shops offer a very wide range of manufacturing quality levels according to the specs and to the prices their customers are willing to pay. It is quite possible that a creaky, fragile piece of crap and a rock-solid machine are both coming from the same manufacturing plant.

The original construction plans, selected materials, component quality levels, quality checks and tolerances and the agreed-upon production costs will determine what the customer will get in the end.
 
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:44 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 35):
I still cherish my trusty old HP calculator (one of the old LED models!), but when they turned into yet another generic PC manufacturer that old spirit was pretty much lost, and the HP of today is almost unrecognizable to anyone knowing them from their earlier days.

My original HP calculator in '70 was a handheld with small little red lights for the display. It was quality and they charged for it. About $100 IIRC.

Quoting par13del (Reply 36):
This is not an abandonment of a line / product that is not performing up to spec, but a total change from a leading provider.

Hate to say it, but this does start to look a bit odd the more I think of it

Large companies can have divisions that are not highly profitable, but break even or actually make a small profit. HP seems to be in this group.

And, when looking at these divisions it is sometimes important to look at the corporate overhead that these divisions absorb. The HP PC Division pays $X amount in corporate overhead - and still makes a profit. That means that closing out the division will take that contribution away and HP will need to absorb that overhead with less profits.

I wonder if the PC news could be a bit of a diversion from the tablet news.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 39):
When they installed an explicit software & services guy with no hardware experience at the top, that die had already been cast before that.

Like Bob Lutz talking about "car guys" and "number guys" in the auto industry. Apple has the computer guy of all computer guys and the comparison shows.
 
StuckInCA
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:52 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 37):
Actually they share manufacturers. Notebooks are nearly all made by specialized manufacturers. Dell, Apple, Sony do not make their own notebooks as far as I know.

I'm well aware. I'm not sure exactly who makes Sony's but I'm sure they make lots of others. That said...

This-->

Quoting Klaus (Reply 39):
To very different specifications, however.

I've owned HP, Dell and Sony laptops for work and home. While quality varies within each lineup, I've found the two Sony's I've owned to be much higher quality than the Dells and HP's (which were decent and very usable). Nicer keyboards, and generally nicer components. On paper it looks like you get less for your money, but that's where it ends.
 
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:08 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 35):
The sad thing is that the old HP once was the premium brand of electronic calculators with absolutely unmatched mechanical quality and an Apple-like obsession with their products (coming from the creation of similarly high-quality electronic lab equipment).

I still cherish my trusty old HP calculator (one of the old LED models!), but when they turned into yet another generic PC manufacturer that old spirit was pretty much lost, and the HP of today is almost unrecognizable to anyone knowing them from their earlier days.

Indeed. That calculator is probably 30 years old, and a lot changes in that amount of time.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 39):

Highly unlikely. When they installed an explicit software & services guy with no hardware experience at the top, that die had already been cast before that.

I remember when IBM hired a cigarettes and biscuits guy, and things turned out pretty well for the stockholders, for the average employee, not so much...

Quoting Klaus (Reply 39):
To very different specifications, however. Those contract manufacturing shops offer a very wide range of manufacturing quality levels according to the specs and to the prices their customers are willing to pay. It is quite possible that a creaky, fragile piece of crap and a rock-solid machine are both coming from the same manufacturing plant.

The original construction plans, selected materials, component quality levels, quality checks and tolerances and the agreed-upon production costs will determine what the customer will get in the end.

Yep, that's true. And it's far more than contract manufacturing, many firms will do most if not all of the design work too. But of course when they do that, chances are you end up with nothing special about your product vs the others using this service, and you end up decimating your inhouse engineering.

HP, what where you thinking?
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:42 am

I'm going to have to echo the sentiment of some users here: this blows. I use an HP laptop, well, two in fact as my main systems - and there are only two companies I will buy hardware from - one is HP, the other is Apple. Both local companies - the logic behind it being that I want the profits from the products I buy to be spent locally in the SF Bay Area.

If HP bites the bullet, or the PC unit is purchased by a non-Silicon Valley based entity, I'll be forced back to buying Apple hardware which comes at a tremendous price premium... c'est la vie.
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:52 pm

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 41):
I've owned HP, Dell and Sony laptops for work and home. While quality varies within each lineup, I've found the two Sony's I've owned to be much higher quality than the Dells and HP's (which were decent and very usable). Nicer keyboards, and generally nicer components. On paper it looks like you get less for your money, but that's where it ends.

I tend to buy top-of-the-line laptops and keep them for a long time, because technology doesn't change that fast in laptops. and because of the hassle of migrating to a new laptop.
Seems I go 3 years between changing them out.

So the thing that tends to matter to me is strong mechanical construction, and for that, I've found the Lenovo ThinkPads are quite rugged, and offer a lot of other features I like, like fingerprint scan to login.

Last 3 laptops have been ThinkPads and I don't have any complaints, other than it seems the newer keyboards don't feel as robust as the older ones seemed to feel.

Quoting Siren (Reply 43):
I'm going to have to echo the sentiment of some users here: this blows. I use an HP laptop, well, two in fact as my main systems - and there are only two companies I will buy hardware from - one is HP, the other is Apple. Both local companies - the logic behind it being that I want the profits from the products I buy to be spent locally in the SF Bay Area.

Both of the above, as well as SF Bay firms Cisco and Oracle, do an awful lot to make sure money isn't being spent locally, by clever use (abuse?) of tax laws. The reason they are looking for a repatriation tax holiday is that they've been very successful at using non-US subsidiaries to shield themselves from US taxes. It's all legal to do these things, but the reason it's tolerated is because the repatriation tax makes them pay what they should have paid in the first place.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:16 pm

Those ThinkPads were pretty robust when IBM made them and the newer ones by Lenovo are pretty much the same. I had an IBM ThinkPad and a Lenovo ThinkPad and I was very happy with the performance and durability of both.

I find Dell laptops to be ok on the inside, but their cases, laptop keyboards and display hinges tend to break very quickly. They should make the exterior as good as the interior.
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:11 pm

I'm not sure what Apple is doing in this thread, as their business model is totally different, but I was surprised by the numbers talked about (mobile sales) until I discovered they included millions upon millions of iPads. Sure, the iPad sell well and Apple must make lots of money with it, and it costs as much as a middle end laptop PC, but putting it in the same category as laptops (PC or Apple alike) is very wrong in my opinion.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Klaus
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:19 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 46):
Sure, the iPad sell well and Apple must make lots of money with it, and it costs as much as a middle end laptop PC, but putting it in the same category as laptops (PC or Apple alike) is very wrong in my opinion.

For many people the iPad serves the same purposes their laptops or desktops did previously or it supplements them.

So why should it be excluded from mobile sales?

Just because Apple is effectively the only manufacturer with any kind of success in that segment?

You could do that, but that would only cover up the major market shifts happening right now.

Just an aside: "middle end" is sort of an oxymoron, isn't it...?
 
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:34 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 47):
For many people the iPad serves the same purposes their laptops or desktops did previously or it supplements them.

I have to agree. For many, the iPad is just an ultrathin notebook with touchscreen or voice input, and that fulfills what they want from either a primary or a secondary computer.

And I feel Android will be giving Apple a run for their money in this market, just like how Andrioid smartphones are now outselling iOS smartphones.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
Klaus
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RE: HP To Sell PC Business

Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:57 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 48):
And I feel Android will be giving Apple a run for their money in this market, just like how Andrioid smartphones are now outselling iOS smartphones.

There's no indication of that actually happening (yet?). Shipments to stores are already relatively low numbers and sell-through to actual customers of Android tablets appears to be very sporadic, with many of those again being returned. And the HP tablet had suffered the same fate, which apparently triggered HP's withdrawal.

With Google now competing against their own licensees on top of everything else, it's become even more unlikely that there'll be a turnaround of the situation.

Particularly the non-availability of the iPhone for Verizon in the US created a specially protected niche for Android. The rapid movement of Verizon customers towards the iPhone after it became available doesn't bode well for Android either.

Tablets have no such forced link. And the results are very different from the phone situation, although the phones seem to march into the same direction by now.

But at least as long as Android phones can be branded and modified by the carriers to their specifications, as long as Apple doesn't choose to offer cheaper iPhones and as long as license payments for patent infringements through Android don't become too expensive, Android can certainly remain a factor.

From the wording of HP's statement they seem to be looking for licensees and/or buyers for WebOS – also unlikely to help Android's prospects in the new Google+Motorola situation...

Meanwhile, a US survey found that 95% of prospective tablet buyers have already decided it'll be an iPad.

I know all the theories about the "inevitable" dominance of Android - but my guess is that things are a bit more complicated than that in real life.

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