HP Keeps Low Profile at CES 2011, Sets February webOS Event
It’s all over the Internet. Lucky press were selected and invited by HP to attend a special webOS event on February 9, 2011. Even though we speculated about HP’s potential surprises at CES 2011, it looks like anything that has to do with webOS will have to wait. But is this a smart strategy for HP? What is the strategy, exactly? Read on for some insights …
First, let’s break down HP’s cutely cryptic message. “Think Big” and “Think Small” are likely the two flavors we’ll see webOS: a tablet and a phone. Lots of rumors and speculation around the tablet are pretty cut and dry, but it’s speculated that the phone may be the “Pixi 2″ or another device that’s designed to be the smallest mobile phone on the market. Electronista referenced some leaked HP code-names for the devices, like “Topaz” for the tablet, and “Broadway” or “Manta” for the phone.
Okay, but why February? Why not at CES 2011, or why not January of all times? Although HP is exhibiting at the event, the company is keeping a low profile. It’s actually a smart move, one HP may be taking from Apple’s playbook.
In years past, Apple has withdrawn its presence at Macworld, instead opting for its own personal events either on-campus or at regular locations like the Moscone Center in its own back yard, San Francisco. Apple always has also been conspicuously absent from the Consumer Electronics Show and the Mobile World Congress, which takes place shortly after CES in February.
Why doesn’t Apple play ball with all the other big names in the industry? Because it doesn’t have to. Because it generates enough of its own buzz. Apple doesn’t need the supportive hype of the season or the event. Nor does it need anything overshadowing its own announcements.
So, for HP, its webOS announcement will come after the CES buzz has subsided, after Apple has had its iPad 2 event, and right before Mobile World Congress kicks off. A perfect lull in consumer events, leaving the spotlight squarely on HP for a good chunk of time.
I look forward to it.