Hewlett-Packard wants to redefine itself as consumer PC sales decline.
For the third time this year, HP lowered its financial targets Thursday and said it will seek a buyer for its PC division. It’s also pulling the plug on its webOS-based phones and tablets. That includes getting rid of its TouchPad — CEO Leo Apotheker admitted that the iPad competitor isn’t selling at all.
“(Sales) of the TouchPad was not what we expected,” he said. “Our expectation was to establish TouchPad as the clear number 2 platform in tablets.”
HP expanded its PC division in 2001 with the purchase of Compaq for $25 billion. It bought its WebOS from Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010. Now, it will spinoff the PCs and focus on enterprise solutions. The company’s been under pressure from board members to diversify its portfolio and didn’t waste a breath, proclaiming it will acquire Autonomy Corp. for about $6.2 billion. Autonomy is the U.K.’s second-largest software maker and sells programs primarily used in database search. The company’s customers include Coca-Cola, Nestle and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In recent years, Dell has successfully transformed its business to focus more on the enterprise. Now two thirds of Dell’s profit comes from selling solutions to organizations.
Now it remains to be seen if HP can successfully break into the enterprise, as well. As Apotheker says, the company has about 18 months to prove it.