In the recent past, Apple has created a boom all over the world by introducing its smartphones with different features. They also made a huge fan base by speedily changing their versions of the iPhone with many amazing features. Bugs were removed in new models and shape of the phone was changed slightly in order to fit comfortably in your hands. But HP does not believe that the iPhone is the answer to all your tech requirements.
HP believes that Apple has not made many innovations in their devices, rather has introduced different shaped models of the same basic smartphone. Head of HP’s Personal Systems Group, Ron Coughlin said that the computer industry generally and HP, in particular, has snatched away the initiative for technological improvements back from smartphones by introducing their latest laptops.
Coughlin claimed in an interview that “The innovation is happening in PCs.” Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay also narrated that “PCs have become a replacement market, but, just like in automotive, that can be a pretty nice business. People have realized that you can not do everything on a phone. I think the decline in PCs is mostly over.”
Slowly and gradually people are realizing that everything cannot be materialized on a smartphone. The use of PC and laptops cannot be ruled out completely. Coughlin believes this changed perception of customers and their tilt towards PCs is due to the hot new laptops HP has launched that have won customers over worldwide.
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The new designs are selling out fast in the market these days. They have been designed in a way so as to make them easy to handle and easier to carry. HP has recently reported their earnings of $696 million in its most recent quarter. PC revenue rose by 12% whereas PC shipments are up by 7%.
What is most noteworthy is that HP recently pushed Lenovo aside and bagged the top position in the manufacturing of PCs according to analyst firm Gartner. HP has bought about 21% of the shares in the complete market against which there lies only 1% point difference between HP and the world-class company, Lenovo.
Keeping the above in view, Coughlin firmly believes that the market for PCs is still alive and statistics are all indicative of the fact that this market is steadily growing.
“If you look at mobile devices, they have been declining three out of the four past quarters. Tablets are down 20 percent. It is not just HP. The category actually grew 3 percent this past quarter and has grown from a revenue standpoint for the last three-quarters,” said Coughlin.
On a question about Touch Bar of MacBook and absence of touchscreens in them, Coughlin said that “We are not brilliant enough to tell customers what they want. We listen to our customers, and customers say they want a touchscreen. There is no piece of research that will lead you to a Touch Bar. It feels to me like there is a dogma at Apple that says thou shalt not put touch in, and the Touch Bar was a way around that dogma.”
HP uses operating systems of many other companies in their laptops. But HP does not consider this as a problem or as something everybody else is doing. They do not believe in jumping into the software manufacturing industry because that’s not where their core competency lies. Instead, they believe in adding their own touch to it and making it different from there on.
HP is concentrating on adding value to what is already out there and using the same operating system as everybody else, they are investing their energies in other areas which will make them stand out, such as security. The HP Sure Start, a first of its kind technology that helps businesses protect against malicious attacks or malfunctions, HP Sure View, a tool against anyone eyeballing your laptop, and video conferencing are some of the areas where HP is making its own mark.
According to Coughlin, “We have no interest in getting into operating systems. It’s not our core competence. But areas like security are where we can add value. And where you’ll see us morph is providing a device as a service. We’re able to manage PCs and mobile devices across Windows, Apple, and Android. We’re the only company bringing that together.”
He has also stated, “We’ve doubled down on security this past year. We are very aggressive with the claim that we have the most manageable and secure PCs in the world. We have a product called Sure Click. Seventy percent of intrusions come through someone clicking malware. When you click on that link we containerize that so it doesn’t infect the rest of your PC.”
HP is offering service plans along with its laptops. The plan ranges from $69 a month up to $199 a month for high-end workstations. So it is no longer a device provider alone. HP is going further than just that and aiming at providing a great service to its customers along with the purchase of a device. HP also plans on offering tablets and phones in their device-as-a-service plan.
But the company does not yet plan on making a consumer phone or entering that market anytime soon. The company believes there’s a lot they can do while staying in their existing product range which is laptops. The priority is to sell better laptops and add value to that product line rather than trying to compete with everyone out there, get on the bandwagon and start selling smartphones just for the sake of competition.
When Coughlin says the innovation lies in the PCs market and not in smartphones, there are a lot of arguments that support his statement. Smartphones, though improving in software and features, have remained what they were a decade ago. They are still a hand-held device, though slimmer, faster and more advanced, but still the same essentially.
When it comes to PCs though, they have evolved a lot over time. They cater to the needs of all sorts of customers. There are laptops now with touch screens, hybrids with a detachable keyboard which turns into a tablet whenever you want, and smaller and slimmer laptops which you can easily carry around. Gaming laptops like the HP’s Omen X gaming PC can be easily carried around because it fits into a backpack harness. This allows the users the freedom to move around rather than being chained to a desk for virtual reality gaming.
In short, according to HP, the PC market is not dying or going into a recessive state because of the boom in the smartphone industry. Smartphones are without a doubt very convenient and have great features. But they cannot entirely replace PCs. There are things which can only be done on a PC. The way innovation is being brought about in these products is unparalleled. PCs today have blurred a lot of lines and have morphed into gadgets that can do a lot more and be a lot more. The future holds more promise for PCs and there is no downfall in sight anytime soon.