Broken promises are part of technology’s natural cycle, but Leo Apotheker, HP’s new boss, says that’s not going to happen anymore at his company.
From now on, HP will only announce tech products that are a few weeks away from shipping, Apotheker said in an interview with the BBC. “”HP will stop making announcements for stuff it doesn’t have,” he said. “… That’s a simple management decision, I don’t need to re-engineer the tanker to do that.”
In other words, HP is taking a cue from Apple by announcing only real products instead of lofty ambitions. Apotheker even suggests as much: “I hope one day people will say ‘this is as cool as HP’, not ‘as cool as Apple’,” he said.
If HP is going to replicate the Apple cool factor, it’s going to take a long time, and I don’t really care to speculate about whether it’ll happen. But I do like the idea of tech companies keeping products close to the vest until they’re nearly ready to ship, especially with smartphones and tablets. While I enjoy hearing about new gadgets ahead of time, I’m tired of press conferences and news releases with no meat and all hype.
- Why did LG announce the G-Slate at CES 2011 when it can’t even tell us the screen size?
- Why did Acer hold a press event for its Android 3.0 tablet back when Android 3.0 wasn’t formally announced yet?
- Why would Asus show off a Windows tablet at a trade show in May, and then drop Windows for Android, and then reveal a completely different line-up of tablets at CES 2011?
HP was guilty of false promises, too. Early last year, it started hyping a Windows Slate as a major contender to the iPad. Then it disappeared after HP acquired Palm, and finally re-appeared as a business tablet under a limited production run.
So I’m excited that the unthinkable might happen: When HP unveils its new tablets and phones on February 9, we just might get prices and release dates, too.