An Open Letter To HP Asks Them Not To Abandon The PC Market

By William Usher 2011-08-23 18:32:05 discussion comments
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It looks like open letters are all the rage these days for getting poignant opinions and ideas across to seemingly stone-walled corporations and businesses. Earlier in the week hardware peripheral company Razer wrote an open letter to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo about the fledging state of the game industry, and today CEO of DealNews wrote an open letter to HP about holding on to their stake in the PC market.

Last week HP announced that they would be discontinuing their webOS devices, which also includes touchpads and OS phones. They also mentioned that they would be exploring alternatives for their personal systems groups, which could range from a number of different products, but it seems quite obvious that the term would aptly fit the PC department.

Well, not everyone is onboard with HP jumping out the PC hardware race. According to the open letter from DealNews CEO, Daniel de Grandpre, he states that…
You're potentially about to make the biggest mistake in your 72-year-old life. Right now, you're stuck selling PCs — a commodity product — at commodity prices. The way you run your business, your PCs should be traded on an exchange along with pork bellies and concentrated orange juice. No wonder you want to exit the PC business while there's still some runway ahead of you…”
“But you're missing something big. Like, huge. HP, you've got the world's best tech brand. Yes, your brand is potentially even more valuable than Apple. (Bear with me on this.) And yet you've wasted your brand by playing the PC game the same way that everyone else has: driving prices, and thus profits, into the ground. That's for companies like ASUS. That's not for HP.”

Before you throw your arms up in the air and go…”What???” Grandpre makes a solid effort on behalf of HP that makes sense: They need to step away from being a commodity competitor with Dell, IBM, etc., and become the “Mercedes Benz” of computers. They need to add some Lamborghini style panache to their line-ups or tack on a Ferrari-quality price to a brand that becomes synonymous with style, luxury and class. Can you dig it? I can dig it.

HP’s Pavilion DvX series of laptops are some of the most fashionable looking laptops on the market if not the most fashionable looking laptops on the market. Not the greatest things in the world for gaming (though it’s more the fault of ATI than just HP), they offer great functionality and style all in one super sexy package. I owned one and can definitely say that they’re better than anything Dell offers, yet based on the commercials and marketing for HP’s Pavilion series they certainly don’t come across as mobile devices good for gaming or for anything more important than what you would use a Dell for, which is where Grandpre believes HP needs to change their tactics.

It’s wholly possible for HP to stay in the personal computer game but they need to redefine their identity, according to Daniel de Grandpre. Offering their PC laptops and desktops as the “smart person’s device” or as the reliable “sports car” of the PC market as opposed to just another company with just another computer, could actually help them redefine their purpose in the industry. Heck, if carving out a niche in the market worked for Apple and Nintendo, it could easily just as well work for HP.

You can read the entire open letter over at DealNews, which is a fairly interesting read. Let’s just hope HP doesn’t give up on their PC department because giving Dell anymore market share than they already have would be like having Dick Cheney as President of the U.S. and Prime Minister of the same time!
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