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After Warranty Scandal HP Moves To Launch ‘Thinnest Laptop Ever’

Hewlett Packard who have been battling corruption and dodgy practises allegations, is hoping that a thin laptop will turn their fortunes around.

Later this week the Company who is not known for their innovations despite former management campaigning on the “We Invent” platform is set to deliver what they are describing as the “thinnest laptop ever”, the move comes as the Company looks to go after the premium end of the PC mark which is currently owned by Apple and Lenovo with their Yoga range of PC’s.

In Australia HP is not tracking well, after the US Company recently reported a loss of A$229 million for its financial year ended October 31 2015 – its fourth annual loss running.

The loss was on revenue of $3.3 million, down from $3.6 billion a year earlier. Total liabilities exceeded its total assets by around $725 million, up from a $564 million gap in 2014.

The report was the last one for HP Australia, which one day after the financial year ended split into two companies – HP Enterprise and HP Inc, the first handling enterprise business such as storage, networking and cloud services; and the second handling the traditional printer and PC businesses.

 

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This is the same Company that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission claimed engaged in “widespread and systemic” misconduct.

At the time US PC Company was forced to pay $3 million for misleading product warranty claims to consumers and retailers by the Federal Court who found HP had made false or misleading representations about consumer guarantee rights, including the terms of repairs, product returns and warranties.

Australians will get to hear about the new product on Wednesday morning.

Chief Executive Dion Weisler is determined to try and dispel the image of HP as a dull boring Company run by engineers.

Meanwhile Ron Coughlin, president of HP’s personal systems group said “For years, Apple has been seen as the innovator and the driver of innovation. HP is really taking over that mantle.”

“What’s ironic is that global media follow Apple because of their innovation not Hewlett Packard. When did you last see a Hewlett Packard product splashed over the front pages or lead stories on the evening news” said one observer. Hewlett Packard have a long way to go before this happens”.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

IDC data for January reported that world-wide PC shipments declined 10.4% in 2015, with growth registered by both Lenovo and Apple and not Hewlett Packard.

In the USA where HP are the strongest Lenovo grew 21.3% year-over-year growth (to 2.2 million units shipped) was by far the strongest growth rate of all vendor’s claims IDC.EBFolio_Gallery_Thumb1

The Wall Street Journal claims that HP is one of several laptop makers touting reduced size and weight for clamshell models as a selling point, particularly for models priced at $1,000 and higher. A

Apple has set a standard for sleekness since the 2008 introduction of MacBook Air, followed up with thinner versions of its MacBook Pro. Its 12-inch model introduced in March 2015, dubbed simply the MacBook, measures 13.1 millimetres at its thickest point and 3.5 millimetres near the edges.

Rivals used the Consumer Electronics Show in January to introduce slimmer models based on the latest set of microprocessor chips from Intel, Dell, for example, introduced a new 13-inch Latitude model for commercial users that is 14.3 millimetres at its thickest point.

Lenovo revealed their X1 carbon which is now on sale in Australia. Unique it is the Swiss Army knife of business laptops that can handle everything from light editing to heavy design work. This 14-inch, bend-back 2-in-1 features a battery that will last a full workday, a screen with vivid colours, and a stylus for drawing and navigating Windows.

Raza Haider, executive director for Dell’s Latitude & OptiPlex products, predicted that Dell won’t lag in introducing thinner and lighter laptops, while arguing that other factors may wind up being more important to users than new claims about dimensions. “We are kind of at a point where it’s a little bit of millimetre madness,” Mr. Haider said.

HP executives are desperate to turn the HP PC business around after the Company reported that revenue fell 12% in the fiscal quarter ended in January from the year-earlier period.

IDC reported that unit sales in 2015 fell 5.9% for the company—No. 2 behind Lenovo.
HP’s forthcoming laptop is expected to be even thinner. It is slated to be unveiled at an event Tuesday in Versailles, France, organised by the New York Times.

Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD Group who tracks retail PC sales in the U.S., said the strategy makes some sense as demand has been stronger for premium laptops than some other segments. The trouble, he said, is that such systems account for a relatively small share of the total market for portables.

“The challenge for doing really, really thin and light products is it’s a very, very thin and light segment to go after,” Mr. Baker said.

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