In case you missed it, Hewlett-Packard announced today that it will be bringing a multitouch notebook to consumers in the form of the TouchSmart tx2. The device will feature a swivel, LED-backlit display, Windows Vista, and full touch capabilities on the screen.
That's quite the development. Sure, HP already had some touch-screen devices in the desktop market and other companies are trying desperately to make some headway in that space, but why has no one made such a big deal about the device?
I know what you're thinking: why should we make a big fuss about a device that has evolutionary capabilities and hasn't been put through the paces? We need to wait and see.
Sorry, I just don't buy that.
When Apple announced new MacBook Pros last month featuring its own multitouch capabilities in the trackpad, the world rejoiced. Consumers were already saying how they couldn't wait to pick one (or maybe two) up at the Apple store and every major news outlet was discussing it in minute detail. I turned the nightly news on when it was first announced and it was everywhere.
And yet, as HP ups the ante, we don't hear anything about its latest notebook.
Why doesn't anyone care about HP or Dell or Acer anymore? Is it Windows? Is it that the companies have a reputation for being run-of-the-mill vendors? I can't quite put my finger on it. And although I would agree that Dell and Acer really are run-of-the-mill, I just don't believe that when it comes to HP.
On the Windows side, HP is most like Apple. The company isn't happy producing the same old device and is trying desperately to beat Apple to the living room. And we also can't forget that there's a reason why it's the top PC vendor in the world: it's pushing all the right buttons while Dell, Acer, and the others are trying to figure out how to make price and beauty a key component in their strategies.
But I digress. For every iMac, there's an HP TouchSmart all-in-one. For every MacBook, there's an HP laptop waiting in the wings. For every Apple TV, there's an HP MediaSmart Connect. And for all the beauty Apple provides, HP competes quite well.
And yet, it's as if no one cares.
See, even though HP turned a profit of $2 billion last quarter to Apple's $1 billion and its annual income is almost twice as high as Apple's, HP doesn't get the kind of respect Steve Jobs and Company does. Maybe that's because HP doesn't have a well-known, dynamic CEO or maybe it's because HP doesn't want to be in the limelight. Or maybe it's because HP doesn't engage in flashy keynotes every few months to tell the world about upcoming updates to existing products. Whatever the case is, HP is rarely remembered, but often times chosen when it's time to buy some tech.
Have you ever considered that? If you ask someone what kind of computer they want next, rarely will you hear them say an HP machine even though they end up buying one. And if you ask someone which company is the most successful in tech, I seriously doubt HP will top the list.
Some might say that that's all part of HP's genius, but I doubt it. I think HP would love to hold the limelight like Apple, but it just can't do it. It's easy for some of us to sit here and say that any company can captivate audiences like Apple, but I think that's a total and utter lie. See, Apple's culture is what makes it successful. It's a culture of secrecy and pomp and circumstance unlike anything this industry has seen.
And it works.
But HP is different. HP doesn't hold lavish events and fails to deliver the kind of experience (from a PR standpoint) that Apple does. And although it hasn't hurt its sales, it still stands behind Apple as one of the foremost companies in the industry.
But who cares? HP is enjoying incredible success and the company is showing no signs of slowing down. And although no one makes a fuss about its products like they do with Apple's, we can't fault a strategy that's turning a $2 billion profit each quarter.