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HP Palm readies B2B assault with Data Select and Brightstar

Michael Garwood
March 10, 2011

HP Palm, soon to be just HP, has partnered with distributors Data Select and Brightstar ahead of multi-million pound marketing campaign as it looks to become a key player in the smartphone market.

HP Palm has partnered with handset distributors Brightstar Europe and Data Select in a bid to increase penetration in the UK across both B2B and consumer channels.

Brightstar has been given a ‘master distributor’ deal for distribution across Europe, and will supply Data Select for distribution in the UK.

HP Palm, who told Mobile News it will re-brand to just HP later this year, said it currently has just a one per-cent market share for its smartphone handsets, which include the Pre, Pre 2 and the recently announced Pre 3, Veer and TouchPad tablet.

To promote its new range as well as the benefits of its WebOS platform, HP Palm will launch a multi-million pound  global marketing campaign this year across mobile markets in the UK, Germany, France and Spain in Europe.

Richard Turner. managing director Brightstar Europe – UK & Ireland, said: “For Brightstar and the customers we work with the focus has been two areas – the first is smartphones, the second is we try and work with not just the biggest vendors, but the biggest growth vendors.

“And we see the HP Palm products as one of those growth vendors. These devices appeal to kids, twentysomethings, the business sector. And for us committing to a long-term relationship, the roadmap is so strong, it was a no-brainer.”

Tim Mahne, sales director EMEA for HP Palm, said: “Brightstar is the logistics partner with us, and our commercial relationship is with Brightstar, and then we have a nominated national distributor which is Data Select, so effectively we are getting the best channel reach possible, so that’s the two organisations work but our commercial relationship is with Brightstar.”

HP, who claims to be the biggest technology company in the world with a turnover of $130 billion, acquired handset manufacturer Palm last April for $1.2 billion to gain entry to the handset market and develop the Palm webOS operating system.

HP Palm UK marketing manager Colin Holloway said: “Palm has always struggled with resource and investment as we have always been a relatively small company and struggled to reach the levels we wanted. We now have HP behind which removes that barrier.

“We will be very aggressive in our marketing because HP today is not a smartphone brand and Palm was a very small smartphone brand. Combining HP’s resources and Palm’s innovation we have a formula for success.”

HP Palm’s Mahne added: “HP didn’t want to buy a smartphone business, it wanted webOS because they could see how it linked to the future strategy for the company in terms of cloud computing.”

Mahne said webOS will now be included in all HP products including the 100 million laptops and printers it sells each year enabling each device to communicate with the other, enabling services such as printing documents from a device to any webOS online printer and access any document or application using cloud services.

Palm Pre 2

HP claims by 2013 more than 21 billion cloud applications will exist and around 130 million enterprise customers will adopt cloud computing by 2014. It also expects popular products such as Windows Excel and Word will be stored entirely in the cloud.

It also claims some of the highest security levels with the ability to control each device on a computer via a portal enabling remote wiping if lost or stolen.

HP will also continue to develop its Touchstone technology which reacts when the mobile device is placed on an HP touch pad, which is also used as a wireless charger. The technology now allows the device to communicate with other products such as transferring documents from a laptop to another device by touch.

Data Select commercial director Simon Boyd commented: “We are really excited to bring HP Palm to you. WebOS is a phenomenally interesting strategy for the HP business.

“This is the start of a journey. A company does not invest a billion dollars in an operating system if they think it could fail.”

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