Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hewlett Packard to Expand Razor Product Line

Whoops, I meant their printer product line.  This expansion could  generate a fair amount of ink cartridge revenue for Hewlett Packard, as well.  "We haven't had a new product lineup in seven years," said HP CEO Meg Whitman in talking about Hewlett Packard’s plan to announce a new line of printers.  "It was very obvious that we had a product gap here."

Hewlett Packard will be introducing multi-function machines that combine printers with scanners and software to manage electronic documents.  The software will come from their Autonomy group.  The rumored price point, around $2500 to $3000, and targeted at small businesses and groups within larger companies.

In IDC's  “MarketScape: U.S. Shared, Networked Multifunction Peripherals for the Distributed Office 2012 Vendor Analysis” (Doc # 235820).  Companies in the Leaders quadrant include Xerox, Rico, HP, and Canon.  Konica/Minolta are close behind as Major Players.  IDC’s quadrant displays a company’s market share graphed against Capabilities and Strategies.  The Capabilities score measures vendor product, go-to-market and business execution in the short-term.  The Strategy score measures alignment of vendor strategies with customer requirements in a three to five year timeframe. Whitman's announcement will help keep HP in this section of the quadrant.

This announcement may portend good things for Todd Bradley,  head of HP’s printer and personal-computer businesses.  The printing unit has brought in over $25 billion in revenues to HP. Under the Hurd regime, R&D  suffered, dropping from  $3.7 billion to $3 billion between 2003 and 2010.  More will be spent under the Whitman regime.

Whitman also telegraphed some of her other strategies for the next couple of years  while speaking at the Gartner US Symposium/Txpo, held in Orlando.  She stated that HP would probably not release a smartphone until 2014.  She also expects HP to be a major contender in the tablet and mobile PC markets.

“There will be ups and downs in this business," Whitman said.  "PCs may be declining.  Tablets may be growing.  The business definition here is 'personal systems.’  It's not PCs.  It's personal systems.  And we think we can win.”  Whitman didn’t comment on which OS the smartphones will use.

Hewlett Packard’s stock decline has been steeper than the double diamond ski  runs at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, California.  On October 26, the stock hit another 52-week low of $13.94.  This represents a 52-week decline of around 50%.  Competitor Dell has had a slide of almost 45% over the same period and also had another 52-week low of $9.19.

Whitman and Hewlett Packard need to make some bold moves.  She  said when she became CEO   that turning Hewlett Packard around would be a multi-year effort.  She’s now just into her second year at the helm.  There may not be a third if things don’t start improving.

“Hewlett Packard and Meg Whitman – The First Year. Turbulence and Turmoil in the Valley” at

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