The great smartwatch boom is starting to consume electronic makers and HP is not exempt. The company is partnering with designer Michael Bastian to produce its own next-gen timepiece. Hewlett-Packard’s timekeeper won’t be dedicated to a single mobile platform and will instead serve as a companion device for Android and iOS smartphones similar to how Pebble watches work. Read more
With Apple officially announcing its plans to acquire Beats Electronics for $3 billion, HP’s partnership with Beats will soon expire and new products with the Beats Audio technology and branding will become a thing of the past. HP tells CNET that it will continue to sell hardware marketed with Beats Audio through the end of next year and it has the rights to make new Beats Audio products this year:
HP appears to be taking its If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em design philosophy to something of an extreme with the new HP Envy notebook. A gallery posted by The Verge shows just how closely HP has copied Apple’s MacBook Air designs in almost every respect, from the wedge profile through the chicklet keyboard, trackpad and colors … Read more
Counting tablet PCs as personal computers, Apple is about to overtake Hewlett-Packard and become the world’s top personal computer vendor. All should be known soon when Apple reveals holiday quarter earnings in a conference call with analysts scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24.
HP CEO Meg Whitman was first to admit that such a turn of event neither would nor be entirely unsurprising given Apple’s lead in the post-PC world. Whitman said back in November, “It’s possible if you integrate tablets.” Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt wrote that, based on a poll of 42 analysts, iPad sales could hit the 14 million mark, a notable increase over the 11.12 million iPads sold during the September quarter.
Fortune’s estimates range from 11.7 million (Hendi Susanto of Gabelli & Co) to 19.47 million iPads (Alexis Cabot of the Apple Finance Board). According to research firm Gartner, HP shipped 14.7 million PCs in the last quarter, down 16 percent from a year ago.
Now, Apple in this last quarter cleared 4.89 million Macs, and its holiday sales are estimated to exceed 5 million units. Combined, iPad and Mac will have sold over 20 million units during the holiday quarter, enough to give the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology powerhouse a few million units lead over HP, the world’s leading computer vendor.
Estimated unit sales translate into a 17.6-percent market share for Apple versus 13 percent for HP, representing a landmark achievement by any measure. Again, that’s assuming tablets are counted as personal computers. As noted by Asymco’s Horace Dediu, Apple has never held the top spot. Its Apple II system peaked at 15.8 -percent share in 1984 and the Mac peaked at 12 percent in 1992. Interesting that Lenovo CEO praised Apple last week, saying about Android on tablets that “We still need to learn something, we still need to improve something”.
Apple has today updated Thunderbolt (again), printer drivers, and Aperture.
- Thunderbolt has been updated to 1.1 providing a slue of bug fixes for OS X Lion users.
- HP Printer Drivers v.2.8 and Epson Printer Drivers v.2.9 bring the latest printing and scanning to OS X users.
- Aperture has been updated to 3.2.1 fixing force closing and cropping issues.
Today’s updates come after yesterday’s MacBook Pro EFI update firmware 2.3.
According to analytics firm DisplaySearch, Apple has officially passed HP (by nearly 4 million units) to become the top PC manufacturer worldwide with a 21.1% share. However, these numbers are somewhat controversial given the fact it includes iPad sales in the stats, a device that makes up 80% of Apple’s total PC shipments in Q2.
The research notes tablet shipments are up almost “70% Q/Q and over 400% Y/Y”, while notebook shipments were down 2% Q/Q. This just reinforces the fact that the iPad shipments greatly inflate Apple’s market lead in the “Mobile PC Market”. Even with incredible growth in the tablet market (thanks to the iPad), the 48 million notebook PCs shipped in Q2 2011 still greatly outweigh tablet shipments of 16.4 million. If you take tablets (iPads) out of the equation, Apple’s frenemy Samsung still tops the list for growth, up 44% for shipments Y/Y.
Apple shipped 3.9 million units more than HP’s 9.7 million units, making for a total of approximately 13.6 million MacBooks and iPads. The report also notes that PC shipment worldwide growth is on the rise even without Apple, noting “non-Apple tablets reached over 5.6 million units for the quarter” putting Y/Y tablet shipments up 25%.
From the report:
“Preliminary results show a second consecutive quarter of Y/Y shipment growth rate decline,” said Richard Shim, Senior Analyst for DisplaySearch. “While part of the Y/Y decline can be attributed to a strong first half of 2010, the rising tablet PC shipment growth rate begins to point to notebook PC shipment cannibalization.”
The eye-popping chart above (via Fortune) shows Apple is on course to take control of global market share for portable computers (laptops, notebooks, and tablets) in the second quarter of 2011 – but that’s only as some analysts switch to accounting iPads as computers. Deutshe Bank’s Chris Whitmore, author of the chart, describes his findings:
Within the computing market, we see significant opportunity for Apple to take meaningful share in the second half as the Microsoft / PC ecosystem is relatively stagnant, lacking meaningful new offerings.
Many will be quick to point out the spike is due to taking iPad sales into consideration, a device that many analysts debate shouldn’t be considered as a competitor to notebooks and other portable PCs. However, Apple is steadily gaining ground on Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft even without the iPad. Whitmore explains:
On the other hand, Apple will be competing with an upgraded Mac OS, new MacBook Airs (and other forthcoming Macs) and a new iPad iOS. Within the Tablet market, the iPad remains the Gold Standard as competitors struggle for mindshare and traction (note HP’s price cuts on the TouchPad). Meanwhile, competing PC manufacturers have suggested Ultrabooks won’t ramp in material volumes until 2012 due to challenges driving price points meaningfully below Apple’s Air. As such, Apple appears particularly well positioned for more share gains heading into the back-to- school and holiday selling season.
These bits are amusing but even after a few watches I’m not left with any desire to pick one of these up. Read more