HP has launched a major drive into the b2b mobile market, unveiling its first smartphone targeted exclusively at enterprise.
Revealing the Elite x3 device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Michael Park, VP and GM mobility & retail solutions, told Mobile that HP is moving away from being ‘just an old-school PC company’.
He explained that the smartphone holds potential to bridge the gap between mobile, laptops and desktops, using a Windows 10 operating system to work seamlessly across different devices.
‘A lot of people have doubts about HP as just an old-school PC company, and we have to earn our right in the smartphone market by continuing to focus on the user experience. The approach we’re taking, and one of the benefits of now being a smaller company, is that we’re focused on reinventing so we get the opportunity to go in and say “how can we do this differently?”.
‘The time is right, the shift from PCs to mobile devices is going to happen, and we wanted to be the ultimate landing point for that transition. While broader smartphone growth might be in decline, there are segments that are growing, and the key is to find the points of value where you can create defensible differentiation – and that’s what we’re doing.’
The Elite x3 marks the first time HP has focused on the b2b mobile market, with Park attributing ‘a lack of focus’ to the company’s slow entrance into the market. He explained that now, as smartphones take business users further away from the office, HP needs to cater to that shift in technology. He believes that this can be done by playing to HP’s strengths in the PC industry to offer something completely different from what the top mobile manufacturers offer.
‘One way to compete with Apple and Samsung is not to just play the same playbook that they are. The approach we take has to be uniquely vetted to create a point of customer value that no one else is creating today. We think that lies in the technology shift, as processors get more powerful and connectivity gets stronger. This means we can create products that are better, faster, and cheaper, and that gives more security to the enterprise. These are all things that Apple and Samsung are not doing today.
‘The question is, do you just crank the wheel harder on the PCs? Or do you take a step forward and try something new? The smartphone business looks a lot like the PC industry did 10 years ago; people get into the rat race of trying to spin products as fast as possible and bring price down to be competitive.
‘There’s a huge opportunity here – we have our core business that we’ll continue to grind away at – but then there’s other new adjacencies that are growing, and mobile is one of them, so we want to make sure we’re there.’