H-P Not Ready to Battle Apple Just Yet

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) chief executive Meg Whitman has said that while it is imperative for the company to enter the smartphone business, it would not be ready to take on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung, and the likes in the coming year. However, it is preparing to make its entry into another hyper-competitive tablet market, saying HP was preparing to launch enterprise-class Windows tablets and that Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface was not in the same category.

Whitman, who was answering on-stage questions at the Gartner Symposium IT Expo in Orlando, Florida, said HP was willing to wait two more years before entering the smartphone market because it was important to offer a full range of devices. In addition, considering the company was in the middle of a turnaround, “pacing and sequencing” was key. “Focus is incredibly important,” Whitman said.

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The chief executive added that while HP was targeting enterprise-grade tablets, she was not afraid of competition from already established players or Microsoft, which is entering the arena with its Surface tablet this month.

Whitman also reiterated the company’s commitment to staying in the personal computing business. “It was first decision I had to make,” she said about the PC unit. “It took a team of 100 people over 30 days to look at this with clear sighted view, and decide it made sense to stay in the business. We’re still number 1 in the marketplace … It is the history of the company.”

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