“Our new Mobility Global Business Unit initially will focus on consumer tablets and will expand to additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers.”
HP’s Todd Bradley shared news of a new business unit in an internal memo tipped to The Verge. Alberto Torres, former EVP at Nokia and once in charge of the company’s Meego platform, will head up the unit. His first initiative, according to Bradley: “accelerate our tablet strategy and begin to execute products against our consumer/SMB target.”
I’m almost dumbstruck on the timing of this. First: What global strategy does HP even have? It gave one up — along with $1.2 billion — when it bought Palm in 2010 only to produce one tablet that it soon cancelled in 2011. The company this year open-sourced Palm’s webOS platform. Bradley is likely talking about Microsoft Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets, but HP isn’t even one of the first hardware partners for Windows RT.
Given HP’s history in the mobile market, all the way back from PDAs through smartphones, and later, tablets, this move reeks of desperation. And the sad thing is: the company that knew that the mobile market was important enough to invest $1.2 billion into it, only to see all of the “differentiated value” of the deal disintegrate like mid-morning fog over the San Francisco Bay.