Originally Posted by jmgregory1
Look, it wouldn't be an easy job to turn around a company like HP, even if it were Steve Jobs himself running the ship. ....
I don't have an answer for what they could do to improve things. I think all old-school tech companies and even some of the newer ones are scratching their collective heads on what they can come up with for new product that will take some of the limelight away from Apple. When you think about it, it is going to take some brilliant thinkers to create the next "thing" that will take off as a worldwide phenomenon like the iPod, iPhone and iPad have.
They have a big chunk of the laser and inkjet market, but here too, there are issues revolving around the transition to digital. I'm just not sure there is any going back to people printing out all the photos they once did.
What else is there for them to lead the market on?
Remember that when Jobs returned to Apple, his first big success was the iMac, which was actually pretty traditional, but had a very interesting and fun design (which actually looks pretty clunky in retrospect).
The primary reason for Apple's success beginning with the iPod was the introduction of the ecosystem.
I think there is a way for HP to be successful in printing: while it's true that people are printing less and less, it's primarily because printing is a pain. It's a pain to get proper color and it's a pain to work with crappy cartridges filled with an ounce of ink that clog all the time. If HP solved this, I believe they could own the printer market AND they could get it to expand. But instead, what all the printer manufacturers have done is to sell low-priced, poorly constructed and unreliable printers in order to sell very profitable ink. HP should up-end this model.
If HP was innovative, they could probably beat Apple to market with a comprehensive TV/Media/AV component control device.
You don't have to beat Apple at the Pad game because the market has become so large. You just have to create a profitable and growing business. The first company who creates a "best of both worlds" device which supports both electronic ink AND a full color traditional display in one screen, can win big, IMO. I think there are still a lot of people sitting on the sidelines because they can't decide whether they want the benefits of a Kindle-type device or the benefits of an iPad type device.
If you believe the rumors, Apple is going to give up the high-end in computers. While the iPad is enough for many consumes, there's still a large market of professionals who need high-end computers. If Apple does give up making the MacPro and they merge the MacBook Pro line into the Air and only have computers with limited disc space, no optical drives, very limited connectivity options, etc., I think HP can go after the high-end even if they are stuck with Windows 8.
And looking much farther into the future, HP could be working on devices with holographic displays and new navigation models.
I also think that there will eventually be a big market in consumer robotics. It would be a big investment for HP and they probably couldn't get a viable product out of it for another ten years and profitability for another 15-20 years, but if you really wanted to plan for the future, this would be one area to concentrate on. IMO, this is going to be an especially big area as the average age of most western populations ages considerably (due to low birth rates and lower death rates) over the coming decades.
The reality is that most of what we're seeing from Apple is still products that were initiated during the Jobs era. The real test for Apple is what's going to come 2-3 years down the road and whether those products are evolutionary (which is all we've really seen so far since he left us) or revolutionary and whether Apple will develop yet another line of products that we haven't even thought of yet. (Based on the increases in office space and server farms, I think Apple is already planning something major beyond Siri, iCloud and the rumored Apple TV set.