HP Unruffled by Downturn in Its Consumer PC Sales
title=Too Soon for HP to Worry?} Too Soon for HP to Worry? Tablets have only been out for a bit more than a year. Laptops have been around for a generation and are a proven device. Is it too soon to ask if HP is beginning to worry? Its own tablet PC, the TouchPad, won't be out until this summer."This is what our industry does-we evolve," HP executive Stephen DeWitt told eWEEK. DeWitt serves as the company's senior vice president and general manager of the Personal Systems Group in the Americas, thus he is about as close to this market change as anybody."If you look at the rate of innovation over a number of years, it's truly accelerated. I would push back a little; I don't want to sound like Mark Twain, but the demise of the PC category ... [you can fill in the rest]." DeWitt (pictured) is among those who believe that with the overwhelming desire for people to get connected using devices of all kinds, that the personal notebook PC will continue to maintain its place indefinitely for use in both personal and business communication. "Look, we expect that by the end of the decade, more than 4 billion people will be online, and the number of devices that are hung off the cloud will dwarf the number of devices that are out there today," DeWitt said. "IDC has estimated that by 2020, there will be 30 billion devices hung off the network." 'Universe' of 30 Billion Devices to Come "Inside of that universe of 30 billion devices, the estimate is that there will be between 400 billion and 500 billion e-commerce transactions every day. Also inside of that, there is going to be a massive proliferation of data. Think of every sensor, every trellis in a vineyard, every corn row, every boxcar, every packaged good, every car-everything is going to be connected to the Net," DeWitt said. Processing this is going to continue to require solid, dependable devices for software and hardware developers that can do the heavy-duty jobs that need to be done. In other words, there's plenty of room for all kinds of personal and business computers in the future, whether they look like notebooks, tablets, or some other form factor that hasn't yet surfaced. Tablets are fun to use, lightweight, handy to carry around and getting more functional all the time. But there are weaknesses: Touch-screen keypads are more difficult to use, on-board storage is limited, security has been an ongoing concern and overall horsepower isn't nearly there yet. "Right now, our PC businesses around the globe are at all-time historical highs," DeWitt said. "Our U.S. share is north of 29 (percentage) points, which is as high as it's ever been. We've taken category leadership in areas like notebooks-we haven't had the No. 1 position in notebooks in the United States ever, until we took it away from Dell just recently. Dell had held it since 1999. "We're now the top notebook seller in Brazil; two years ago we were No. 6. And so on."