Monday, May 3, 2010

What HP Will Need To Do To Make Palm Successful

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Silencing technology industry analysts last week when announcing their 1.2 billion dollar purchase of smartphone pioneer Palm Inc Hewlett Packard made the move beyond computing and printing and is going into the mobile device market in a way unlike other PC manufacturers that are getting into smartphones.  Instead of producing yet another Android or Windows Mobile device, HP has gone an entirely different direction.  It's a bold step but one that some say will be impossible to compete with the iPhone or Android, while it will be an uphill climb with the right steps HP can make WebOS a formidable challenger to Apple and Google, which is something Palm was unable to do an an independent company, to be successful with WebOS HP will need to:

1: Get WebOS phones on all be big carriers but don't forget about the small carriers

One of Palm's missteps when launching WebOS as picking Sprint as the first carrier to sell WebOS, Palm was getting ready to launch the Pre and Pixi on Verizon but that came as too little too late. Palm needed to be on AT&T and T-Mobile as well.  That's where HP needs to get the Pre and Pixi as well.  Ask any subscriber leaving smaller regional carriers such as Cricket, Metro PCS, MTS or Sasktel and chances are poor choices of phones and especially smartphones is going to to be the top reason for switching to a national carrier.  Offering WebOS as an alternative to the Blackberries and Windows mobile devices that these regional carriers were traditionally stuck with will help the regional carriers keep existing subscribers and maybe even attract some new ones.

2. Bring some more developers, developers, developers to the WebOS platform

Palm Pre and Pixi owners can buy and download apps just like people with iPhones and Android phones, but they don't have too many apps to choose from.  There are 150,000 apps available for the iPhone, 50,000 apps for Android, but less than a thousand for WebOS.  HP is huge company with thousands of developers in house which will help bulk up the selection of Apps which should help bring more subscribers which will help attract third party developers.

3. WebOS Tablet

In order to expand the user base for WebOS it will need to move from the smartphone to something else.  Since everybody else has been taking pages from Apple's book, why not take WebOS and build a Tablet around it.  It can be marketed at those who want the iPad but may not be ready to pay Apple's price.  Maybe even throw in some Verizon 3G and it should be able to sell.

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