HP Revives Mobile Strategy with Android

by Matt Klassen on February 26, 2013

It really wasn’t a surprise to see that after its dark-horse purchase of Palm back in 2010 ended up in the junk pile that HP got a little gun shy when it came to the mobile market as a whole. Since that time, having shelved its entire mobile strategy and scrapped much of its upper management, HP has remained relatively silent on the topic of future mobile endeavours; that is until now.

Clearly unable to support it own mobile OS, HP is taking a markedly safer approach to entering the growing tablet market, reportedly working on a series of Android-powered tablets, joining a long list of companies who have come to depend on Google’s OS for any sort of success in the dog-eat-dog mobile market.

But employing Android is certainly no sure recipe for success, as HP will have the laborious task of competing not only with market incumbent Apple, but with fellow Android partners like Samsung, Lenovo, ASUS and Acer, all fighting for the same market space. While some analysts remain optimistic that such an Android tablet will bolster HP’s mobile presence, as a late-comer to the party it will definitely be an uphill climb.

I’ll say at the outset that while it sounds great that HP is releasing a powerful sounding Tegra 4 Android tablet sometime later this year, its success all depends on the price point that HP chooses to compete at. Should the company compete at the low end of the market, it might have a chance, if it looks to go toe-to-toe with Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft… well, good luck.

The problem in the tablet market is that currently there’s lots of choice, almost too much in fact, with few companies able to provide any differentiated products or services. The question becomes, will HP be able to provide something that looks and feels different from the myriad of other Android products hitting the market on a weekly basis?

According to analysts, HP’s only hope for success in the tablet market is to identify its other strengths, leveraging those in an effort to provide an all-encompassing user experience. “HP can leverage all of their hardware ecosystem — printers, laptops, PCs — and put the tablet at the core to create a seamless experience across all these devices and try to create a lock-in,” explains Julien Blin, a directing analyst at Infonetics. “They can also leverage their strong presence in the enterprise.”

Beyond leveraging its current ecosystem and offering its products at an extremely competitive pricing, HP would also need to utilize its extensive distribution network  and roll out a marketing blitz the likes of which we’ve never seen, if it has any hope of success. If HP can do all this, tablet revenues are there for the taking; if HP can’t do all this, it will likely result in yet another black-eye for the company.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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