Five Stars, When Nobody Else Could Garner Four

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While the competition peaks at “about average”, Apple passes “better than most” to be “among the best”.

Not sure the word “among” is even necessary.

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Apple Crushes Everyone In Cell Phone Customer Satisfaction Ratings

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Surveys of consumers’ future buying habits mean very little. If consumers did what they said in surveys, products made via those surveys would be raging successes, but they’re not. Apple, perhaps famously, eschews such surveys, contending a customer doesn’t know what they want until they see it. So even though the future looks great for Apple in the article’s surveys, it means little to me.

There is, however, one type of survey that’s very important. Customer Satisfaction is not about the future, it’s about real people who own the device now, and how happy they are with it. I would argue it’s the only survey that really matters. Look at that chart. Apple crushes everyone by such a wide margin the other guys should be revamping their support policies, procedures and staff, not their product lines.

Palm: “Hey! We’re still here! Look at us!” (*waving arms*)

Starting June 18th and ending on July 9th, the promotion will slash the price on every paid app in the App Catalog by 50%.

Palm is subsidizing the promotion, making up the difference so developers still get full price.

It’s a fine idea, but with major developers like Adobe currently (and predictably) telling Palm to get lost, surely others will follow. This is just a stop-gap measure similar to the bargain-basement prices on the Palm handsets themselves. At best, it provides temporary relief and a press release, but it’s no fix. The patient is still bleeding. If Palm (i.e., webOS) is to survive, HP must come out with a competitive device to show its worth.

HP CEO: Our purchase of Palm doesn’t mean what you think it means.

We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn’t seem to resonate well.

It’s like that old retort after someone states an obvious move: “No… that’s just what they’d be expecting us to do.”

Ha ha! HP just fooled us all.

I’ve said that I believe HP wanted an OS of their own for their mobile strategy. They saw the coming rise of mobiles, knew Microsoft couldn’t help them there, and wanted something to fuel their new devices. To me it was obvious this meant more than smartphones, but it was equally obvious it included smartphones.

This does not bode well for HP’s strategic thinking, so I’ll close by simply reminding you again…

HP webOS tablet rumored for this Fall

An insider at HP tells us that a webOS tablet under the code name HP Hurricane could be released the third quarter of this year.

I thought it would be nearly a year before HP could get a webOS tablet on the market. This rumor may be BS, but if true could mean a few things:

  • They’re rushing something to market because of Apple’s huge lead, and won’t let Apple have the holiday season to themselves. This would be a huge mistake, and one I think HP is smart enough to avoid.
  • They’re dreaming, and the date is half prayer, half vapor. They won’t make the date, but some people may hang on and wait to see what HP’s “iPad killer” can do.
  • They’ve had an ARM-based tablet in the works for a while (for Android?), and they’re simply shifting it to a webOS machine.

HP had talked of various tablets, so the last item is not out of the realm of possibility. I hope for HP’s sake that’s what it is. A device rushed to market would be a disaster, and the public is not likely to give them a second chance.

HP webOS tablet rumored for this Fall

An insider at HP tells us that a webOS tablet under the code name HP Hurricane could be released the third quarter of this year.

I thought it would be nearly a year before HP could get a webOS tablet on the market. This rumor may be BS, but if true could mean a few things:

  • They’re rushing something to market because of Apple’s huge lead, and won’t let Apple have the holiday season to themselves. This would be a huge mistake, and one I think HP is smart enough to avoid.
  • They’re dreaming, and the date is half prayer, half vapor. They won’t make the date, but some people may hang on and wait to see what HP’s “iPad killer” can do.
  • They’ve had an ARM-based tablet in the works for a while (for Android?), and they’re simply shifting it to a webOS machine.

HP had talked of various tablets, so the last item is not out of the realm of possibility. I hope for HP’s sake that’s what it is. A device rushed to market would be a disaster, and the public is not likely to give them a second chance.

HP wants an OS to call their own

[HP bought Palm] For a number of very good reasons… but one above all: H-P wants its own operating system. And by acquiring Palm that’s exactly what it’s getting. The steady refrain during my conversation with HP execs this afternoon, “We’re very excited about webOS … We see great potential in webOS … We’re going to double down on webOS.”

HP spent this decade racing Dell to the bottom on pricing and squeezing margins. They “won”, but at a cost of not making anything like the quality hardware they used to. This is what comes from everyone using the same OS, so you can only differentiate on price. Now mobile platforms are the new frontier, yet there’s HP’s upcoming slate, running an “optimized” Windows 7, like everyone else. And, like everyone else, it will fail.

I really think HP wanted a differentiator in the mobile space more than anything else. Android isn’t it, that’s what everyone else will run to, so they’ll have to differentiate on price. It’s déjà vu, and HP wants no part of that.

I like the idea, applaud HP’s effort, and wish them luck. Whether they can pull it of remains to be seen. They’ll need to adopt webOS for a tablet ASAP. I don’t think they can make holiday season this year, next Spring seems more realistic. A year is a long time in this business, but when you’ve got nothing…

Meanwhile, Microsoft can’t be happy. They want their desktop-OS-shoehorned-with-a-few-touch-features on everyone’s tablet and slate devices. HP clearly doesn’t want to play that game. Not on mobile devices anyway. Make no mistake, this purchase hurts Microsoft. Windows 7 is no good for tablets, and Windows Phone 7 is just too far off. Once WP7 is available, why would HP use it? They have their own OS now, and I think that was their plan all along.