Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hewlett Packard (HP)'s WebOS and Touchpad Failure Case Study

Hewlett Packard (HP)'s WebOS and Touchpad Failure Case Study
This entire case study is posted as different parts as different blog posts (so pls see other posts to get an entire idea)
HP webOS is a mobile operating system, initially developed by Palm, which was later acquired by HP to mount a serious challenge against Apple’s IOS and Google’s Android mobile Operating systems. HP acquired Palm, the maker of webOS, for US$1.2 billion in 2010 so it could use the software in products like the HP Touchpad (ipad like tablet) and in its future mobile smart phones. By owning webOS, HP’s strategy was to control both the hardware and software and gain a more direct relationship with customers in the fast growing mobile market but webOS turned out to be something of a toxic asset.
HP webOS 3-Circle Framework
Key Value Propositions: The main POD of HP’s Touchpad with webOS is the visual style of its Operating system (webOS) which is very attractive -- considerably more appealing than the "geeky" look and feel of Google Android, which is the basis of many tablets in the market .Another difference is that it can display websites that use Flash whereas ipad doesn’t have that capability. But Google’s android does provide this feature.  Another point of difference is that webOS shows you your activities in the form of cards, "not a sea of application icons on numerous home screens", Touchpad has better sound than the average tablet, with the Beats Audio speakers found in some of its high-end laptops. Hp’s Touchpad works with networked HP printers while Ipad and Google’s Android tablets find it difficult to hook up with the networked printers. HP’s touchpad is the only tablet which allows wireless charging using HP’s inductive charger, It's an optional-extra accessory though. Because of Hp’s late arrival to the tablet market , Apple and Google had already snatched up most of the top talented App programmers and so HP was not able to turn webOS platform into a platform that could capture the enthusiasm and loyalty of outside programmers. In an era where the Apps dominated the Tablet market HP’s webos had only 5% of Apple’s IOS apps ,HP’s touchpad was in line for a disaster launch. Customers didn’t like the bulky HP touchpad and felt it do not support enough webOS apps. Customers felt that the touchpad was priced costly because it was months after Apple released the iPad 2, which was significantly thinner and faster, for the same US$500 price tag. With no sales and increased operating costs HP withdrew the touchpad from the market so quickly — and said it would stop making webOS hardware altogether. HP’s TouchPad became a failed piece of hardware that did not have the specs behind it to make webOS shine. HP is the market leader in making laptop ,desktop PCs and printers which shows HP’s strength is hardware than software. Instead of investing and developing a brand new webOS software , HP should have made the touchpad tablet with the reputed Google’s open source Android OS like Samsung and Motorola . But the one thing that HP just learned the hard way with WebOS is that without early user adoption, the developers won’t come, and if the developer’s don’t show up, your device is doomed. People don’t buy iPads just because of the slick commercials ,they buy iPads because they already have iOS apps from their iPhone that they can port over.

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