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HP Plans To Offer Sleeker PCs for Holiday Season

HP Plans To Offer Sleeker PCs for Holiday Season
By Jennifer LeClaire

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"I don't think we kept up with the innovation," HP CEO Meg Whitman said of the company's PCs. "The whole market has moved to something that is more beautiful." Now HP is targeting Apple with sleeker PCs planned for the holiday season. "Apple taught us that design really matters," Whitman said. "I think we've made a lot of progress."

Last year, Hewlett-Packard's PC division was in limbo. The company was going to sell it off, and then decided to bring it back in house again.

Now, after a year on the job, HP CEO Meg Whitman is looking at the PC division again. But she's not planning on selling off the division, rather, she's trying to overhaul its style. And she plans to have something to show the world in time for the holiday shopping season.

"I don't think we kept up with the innovation," Whitman told The Wall Street Journal. "The whole market has moved to something that is more beautiful."

What Apple Taught Whitman

HP posted a record loss and declining sales in its third-quarter financial results and the PC revenues were part of the problem. PC revenues were down 10 percent. Despite the backsliding, Whitman is nevertheless targeting Apple with new designs she hopes will sell high volumes and reverse the negative trend.

"Apple taught us that design really matters," Whitman told the Journal. "I think we've made a lot of progress."

This isn't the first move Whitman has made with the PC division. In March, she combined the Personal Systems Group with the Imaging and Printing Group to rationalize the company's go-to-market strategy, branding, supply chain and customer support and lead to a stronger customer experience and drive innovation.

Is Apple to Blame?

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, said HP is in the middle of a perfect storm -- and one aspect of that storm is the obvious disruption that continues in the personal commuting space.

"There is tendency among some people to place most of the responsibility for that disruption on Apple. I don't think I'd go quite that far," King said, noting there is a genuine transformation in the way people are approaching computing, leaning heavily toward mobility and mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones.

"Apple is obviously a major player but the iPhone is by no means the majority market share holder in the smartphone space. We are in the midst of what I think is going to be a continuing transformation on tablets," King told us.

"Be that as it may, beyond Ultrabooks and other ultralight laptops, HP doesn't have much of a play there in mobility. So in a sense, as far as the mobile market goes they are largely relegated to standing on the sidelines."

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