HP Just Became Apple. Minus The Sex Appeal.
HP just announced its new mobile product line which includes the HP Pre 3, HP TouchPad, and HP Veer. As expected all three devices run WebOS. However, at the end of the event, HP threw a curve ball which most of us probably did not expect to hear. HP is planning on putting WebOS on its computers.
The first thing people may come to think of is the massive blow that it would be to Microsoft. And it could very well could be, especially since HP is the largest PC manufacturer in the world. But it’s more than that. Essentially HP just became Apple. Of course, minus the sex appeal (at least for now).
Think about it. Apple is a computer and mobile devices company with its own operating system (OS X and iOS). HP has always been reliant on others for the operating system of its devices. That is until now. The acquisition of Palm gave HP access to Palm’s WebOS. Which has always been an interesting and innovative operating system. And now, they can use it on all of their products.
HP can literally change the landscape of the PC industry. If WebOS is a success on desktop PC’s, HP will be an interesting situation. They can choose to keep it exclusive to their devices (just like Apple) or they can license the WebOS the way Microsoft does with Windows. In which case that would be a major blow to Microsoft.
Regardless of whether they choose to keep WebOS exclusive to them or license it, if HP can successfully market its mobile devices (more on that in another post) with WebOS it will share the same luxury Apple currently has with OS X and iOS. It can market both types of devices (mobile and desktop) to the consumer at the same time, perhaps to an even higher degree because both devices will be running the same exact operating system.
Now HP can get a feel for the control Apple has over its own products. Which will hopefully lead to better products. Products that are more simplistic and more importantly, more streamlined with other HP products. Tight-knit integration is the key here – it’s a large part of the reason why people love Apple products. And until today, it’s really only something Apple could do to the fullest extent. Now HP has the opportunity to do something huge – lets see if they get it right.
Mark the date. The PC industry just changed dramatically.