Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More on HP/Samsung Galaxy S4 Mobile Printing solution

Over the weekend, I posted my first take on the news about HP and Samsung announcing a mobile print solution for the newly announced Galaxy S4 smartphone. (See  “News - HPand Samsung Launch New Mobile Print Offering”).

In that post I reported the news headline and provided the link to the details of the story via press release, but also offered a little discussion of the concept of “coopetition”, when two companies battle in some markets, and work together in others. My long-time experience as an HP employee gave me a birds-eye view of one of the classics, HP and Canon, and tech news lately has been dominated by another, Apple and Samsung, though the competitive piece of that one has been drowning out the cooperative aspect, even up to and including the Thursday evening Samsung launch of their new iPhone competitor, the aforementioned Android-based Galaxy S4. (For example, see “Apple in extraordinary attack on Samsung's Androidoperating system ahead of Galaxy S4 launch”).

But HP, still more promise than delivery when it comes to being a player in the mobile space (smartphones and tablets), remains the undisputed leader in the printing and imaging category, so it is nice to see their “hitching their wagon” to another industry leader, in another category. And this is not the first time, as they have led they way in supporting Apple’s AirPrint and Google CloudPrint.

I gained some additional insight into the urge to at least keep even with an all-HP solution, just about 10 days ago. During HP’s Analyst Summit in Boston in early March, many of the assembled group of analysts were curious to see and hear from the management of combined PC and imaging and printing groups, now PPS for Printing and Personal Systems group. Many who have followed HP for a long time, or have other close ties to them, appreciated the Imaging and Printing Group’s (IPG's) independence. So the combining of the groups a year ago was dreaded by some, especially since the PC group as recently as August 2011 was intended to be spun out or sold off. And with long-time printer chief Vyomesh Joshi retiring, and the new group headed by Todd Bradley, the former PC-only boss, looked to be a potential downgrade from the old IPG. So seeing the team come together made for a much-anticipated panel discussion.

One of the stories told about the first gathering of the group last spring was the consensus determination to make HP mobile devices print to HP printers as easily or better than the user experience with Apple’s mobile devices doing the same. The teams came together to make it happen (though it wasn't exactly a new idea - the HP TouchPad from 2011 included an improved printing experience, which wasn't enough to save it from the scrap heap.) So HP tablets can tout an industry-leading printing solution once again, but it comes as no surprise that the company also figured out how to associate with smartphone maker Samsung as part of its Galaxy S4 announcement last Thursday.

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