HP takes aim at Lenovo, IBM with mobility push
It wants to be the leading laptop vendor by year's end
IDG News Service - Hewlett-Packard Co. yesterday declared its intention to become the leading vendor in notebook shipments by the end of 2005, specifically targeting IBM's notebook customers as that business becomes part of Lenovo Group Ltd.
"The IBM-Lenovo announcement is a great opportunity for HP. We want to reclaim the worldwide No. 1 position in market share for HP notebooks," said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager of HP's Mobile Computing Global Business, in a news conference at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company backed up those statements with the launch of new products in five different categories of business notebooks, which Clark called the largest commercial notebook launch in the company's history. The systems range from lightweight ultraportable notebooks to full-featured desktop replacements and come with a variety of security, reliability and usability features as well as Intel Corp.'s new mobile chipset technology.
HP said it is clear that IBM's sale of its PC division to Lenovo has led IBM customers to openly question their relationship with the company, and HP has already been actively involved in discussions with current IBM customers. "Every time there is disruption in the marketplace, it creates opportunities," said Margaret Franco, business notebook marketing director, in an interview after HP's event.
HP needs to capitalize on those opportunities with products that offer business customers more than just the advances in mobile technology from Intel, which almost all notebook companies will also adopt, said Dan Forlenza, vice president of business notebooks in the Mobile Computing Global Business unit.
The new notebooks emphasize reliability features such as HP's Mobile Data Protection System, which improves the stability of the notebook's hard drive with better cushioning. This feature is different from similar hard-drive protection technologies available from IBM and market leader Dell Inc. in that it protects against everyday wear and tear, rather than just catastrophic events such as the notebook falling off a table, Forlenza said.
HP also wanted to make the new products more usable for mobile professionals when they are in the office. It introduced docking stations that offer a one-button release and make it easier to connect notebooks than with previous models, Forlenza said.
All the new PCs will be available by the end of March, with a few of the models available immediately. More information is available on HP's Web site.
The company's goal with its new mobile technology is to attract new users without having to sacrifice the profitability of its PC division, Clark said.
HP Chief Technology Officer Shane Robison echoed that sentiment earlier this week
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