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Readers respond to HP, Apple comparison

Readers respond to a critique of Hewlett-Packard's product innovation. Some of the comments offer a strong counterpoint to arguments put forth in last week's post.

Hewlett-Packard is strong in areas Apple isn't. And doesn't aspire to be Apple. That's the essence of some of the feedback that I got in the wake of a critique I wrote of Hewlett-Packard last week.

To quickly summarize, I wrote that HP doesn't innovate in a way that creates products like the iPhone or iPad, despite being one of the original--if not the original--Silicon Valley start-up. And despite declarations made by former CEOs about reclaiming some of that start-up spirit.

Needless to say, I do read the comments attached to my posts. And because my opinion is certainly not infallible, I take valid counterpoints seriously.

There seemed to be more than the usual push-back in this case, so I think it's worth posting excerpts of reader comments.

Don't try to fit HP into the Apple mold: "Given the fact that HP OWNS the printer market, OWNS the plotter market, OWNS the corporate PC and server market, OWNS the test instrument market, I think they'll be OK when the day is done if they don't yet own the consumer-electronics market....I think you're trying to wish HP into an Apple mold--and that won't necessarily work...Ask any IT professional. When supporting groups, departments, divisions, and enterprises, solid is preferable to edgy and cool. This is why HP has so many enterprise agreements with Fortune 500 companies." (murph0613)

HP dominates the commercial PC business: "Interesting argument, but considering HP dominates the commercial market I don't see any reason they should be concerned about being branded as having bland consumer products. People will always buy HP when they want something reliable and familiar. Tablets are nifty but...pretty much limited to traveling businessmen and bosses who want to dazzle people by surfing the Web in meetings without having to squint [at a smartphone]. Where's Apple's market share in the enterprise server world? Somehow I think the bean counters at HP are perfectly happy with the billions they rake in from servers, storage, printers, and services." (Ibidibidibidubi)

Apple is a marketing phenomenon: "Truth is, in some areas Apple has innovated, and in others, it hasn't as much as other companies. The difference seems to be that a large group of consumers have, for one reason or another, decided that they like Apple better, so they prefer to buy Apple over other manufacturers. But I don't think it is strictly 'innovation.' Much of it is simply good marketing." (HMPhx)

Too focused on hardware: "The problem with [the] article is that it is too focused on the hardware. It doesn't give credit for all the advantages of [HP's] WebOS. It says that the Touchpad is too thick. That's a fair criticism, but it doesn't mention that some of the thickness is required for the INNOVATIVE inductive charging feature of the Touchpad. The Touchpad, when you factor in the superior OS, is pretty equal to the iOS. (bmacfarland)