HP facing pressure to keep PC unit inside--report

Asia-based suppliers prefer that Hewlett-Packard keep its PC business inside the company, according to a report. HP Executive Chairman Ray Lane did not discount that possibility today in a conference call.

Hewlett-Packard is facing pressure to keep its PC business inside the company according to an Asia-based report.

HP ProBook 5330m--one of HP's thinner business laptops.  There is pressure to keep PCs inside the company.
ProBook 5330m--one of HP's thinner business laptops. There is pressure to keep PCs inside the company. Hewlett-Packard

Growing concern about the fate of HP's PC unit is pushing "channel operators" to switch their orders from HP to brands such as Dell, Acer, and Lenovo, according to a report in Digitimes, citing sources.

The report names Acer as a major beneficiary of the shift.

HP's Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) partners, including Quanta Computer, Inventec, Wistron, and Foxconn Electronics, will "regain...confidence" in HP if it decides not to spin off its PC business, the report said.

Today in a conference call, HP Executive Chairman Ray Lane held out the possibility that the Personal Systems Group (PSG) would remain inside. "Our intent all along was to look at whether there was a benefit to investors or to customers...[But] if it cannot be stronger on the outside--delivering better equipment and technology than our competitors--it stays inside," he said.

And rivals in the U.S. are, not surprisingly, taking advantage of HP's vulnerability. "Dell and Lenovo have been going after it (HP's business). They are making a concerted effort to take advantage of the uncertainty," Bob O'Donnell, an IDC analyst, said on Wednesday in a phone interview. "Businesses are asking for RFPs (requests for proposal) from Dell and Lenovo, trying to figure out what other options they have," he added.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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