Wednesday, September 18, 2013

HP and innovation in smart phones?

We've been commenting about Meg's publicly stated desire to be in the smart phone business in earlier posts (we've avoided joining the chorus about smart wristwatches, altho the Cricket, HP-01, fetches more $$$ now than ever before)....

Here's the litany of early analyst reviews about Apple's new iPhone 5s and 5c, which we wrote briefly about last week.  Emphasis mine in blue; ediotiral comment in red.  

Since HP entered most markets "late" -- think Audio Oscillators, Voltmeters (both analog and digital), Sweepers, Medical and Analytical Chemistry lines, Printers, PCs, and Minicomputers to name a few -- and prevailed almost always (after three tries or more) -- why not smart phones?

The question is "is there still innovation room in this space?"  

This compilation appeared this morning in the Washington Post, hopefully more accurate than their unfortunate comment yesterday that Thomas Hoshku was HP's CEO (sorry, Meg):

The first full reviews of Apple’s new phones are up, ahead of their retail availability on Friday. Here’s a look at what reviewers are saying about the new phones and Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 7, which is due to release sometime Wednesday. Here are bottom line takes from the reviews out there Wednesday morning:
Walt Mossberg, WSJ: Mossberg has only put up a review for the iPhone 5s, Apple’s higher-end model, which comes with a fingerprint scanner and improved camera sensor. He says, overall, that the phone is a “delight” and that its software and hardware make it the “best smartphone on the market.”  Mossberg usually gets more 'in-depth' than this superficial comment, especially re 'futures'
David Pogue, NYT: In his review, Pogue gives a somewhat negative take on the phones, not necessarily because of quibbles with quality, but with what the models mean for Apple. He actually reviews the phone fairly favorably, calling the 5c a “terrific phone,” but notes that just “sheathing last year’s phone in shiny plastic isn’t a stunning advance.” His highest praise is for the software on the phones, which he said has been redesigned for ease and functionality. Even Siri, he said, can do way more with this OS than she could before.  This is a puzzling take, damning with faint praise mostly?
Rich Jaroslovsky, Bloomberg: In his review, Jaroslovsky gives the phones high marks, but makes it clear that he’s not that impressed with the latest generation of phones from Apple.   “There’s nothing wrong with either phone. But there’s not much that’s pulse-quickening about them either,” Jaroslovsky concludes.  Classic Bloomberg analysis -- straight down the pipe, ZERO imagination
Anand Lal Shimpi, AnandTech:AnandTech is one of the best technically focused review sites out there, and Shimpi has turned out two monster reviews there. His much-more extensive iPhone 5s review is definitely worth a read. In the final analysis, he says that he is “seriously impressed” by the A7 chip in the iPhone 5s, which he says is “capable of competing with the best Intel has to offer in this market.”   He also has high praise for the Touch ID fingerprint reader, saying he was initially skeptical about how well it would work. But the phone has won him over: “I originally expected Touch ID to be very gimmicky, but now I’m thinking this actually may be a feature we see used far more frequently on other platforms as well,” he said.  As we snored last week, this is BIG
John Gruber, Daring Fireball: Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber has a lot of great thoughts about what the iPhone models mean for Apple’s future and its ability to innovate, which are well worth a read. Gruber speaks well of the iPhone 5c and how it feels, saying that the plastic feels good in hand — and much slimmer than Apple’s last plastic phones, the 3G and 3GS — and that the buttons feel good with “nice crisp clickiness.” He goes into detail about how much faster the iPhone 5s is than others on the market, and says that he not only likes the fingerprint scanner but also sees tons of potential in what it could do in the future.  Duh, you bet!
Jim Dalrymple, The Loop: Jim Dalrymple focused his reviews on function rather than form by focusing on everyday use. He explains: “I’m all for new features, but if they don’t actually help me get things done more efficiently, then you have to ask, ‘what’s the point?’”  Jim totally misses the point!

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