Retailers and distributor's respond to firm's withdrawal from smartphone and tablet hardware

Surprise in UK channel over shock HP retreat

Following last month’s shock announcement that HP – the world’s biggest PC manufacturer – was withdrawing from the tablet and smartphone business, and is considering selling or spinning off its world leading computer business, UK industry figures have expressed confusion and surprise at the move.

Craig Hume from Utopia Computers told us: “It seems odd that after some recent poor product launches they would choose to pull out altogether. After all, what would have happened if Apple had given up after the ‘Pippin’ flop?”

EntaTech’s Jon Atherton added: “As HP has a strong market share I find the timing strange.”

“Seems a little premature to me but in a world where companies like Foxconn can continue to produce and manufacture hardware at astonishingly low prices,” said Andrew from Gigabyte.

In the tablet market, the firm appeared to have a genuine USP (owning both the OS and TouchPad hardware) compared to the raft of Android devices.

“With the current growth in the Tablet market I am surprised to see HP pull out. This will only make things easier for the other Tablet manufactures to get their foot hold into the market,” said KMS Component’s Steve Bland

Westcoast’s Alex Tatham added: “HP’s immediate need is to clarify what they are doing with all those that have just bought tablets/webOS devices through the channel.”

In the notoriously vicious smartphone market however HP was certainly an underdog, perhaps making it’s exit here more understandable in retrospect. The Google Motorola deal is seen as a key factor by many.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this apparently sudden change of heart has occurred in the same week that Google bought Motorola.” Said Paul Evison, Marketing Manager at CCI Distribution

VIP’s Dave Stevenson added: “It’s quite surprising, however I think the market is ripe for upheaval especially following the Google-Motorola deal last week.” 

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