Taking Business Mobility Seriously, HP Starts Carving Niches with Industry-Specific Tablets

Tablets are more portable than laptops or desktops but more capable than smartphones. This hybrid approach has made them an ideal companion for most anyone, from business travellers to doctors to teachers and their students.

While today’s offerings work okay for a majority of these scenarios, HP believes that there is a market for industry-specific tablets. Existing tablets are fragile and designed for the broadest possible appeal to basic consumers. But certain industries demand certain things.

“Mobility for businesses isn’t just a device plus an app or adopting BYOD scenarios; it’s about organizations using purpose-built devices and industry-specific solutions that have the power to transform both the workplace and business workflows,” suggests Michael Park, vice president and general manager of Commercial Mobility & Software, Business Personal Systems for HP.

In New York this week, HP unveiled eight new products tackling this area, from the jack-of-all-trades Slate 8 and 12 to the hyper-specific Education Edition models and “ruggedized” tablets purpose-built for field work. These “commercial mobility solutions,” as HP has dubbed them, have been designed to “unlock the power of prouctivity” through the company’s modular approach—which includes offering products running both Windows and Android.

“HP is the world’s largest commercial computing provider to the world’s largest companies,” says Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager, Personal Systems, HP. “No other company is better suited to address commercial mobility than HP. Our devices feature built-in security, manageability, and durability. HP has created an ecosystem that help’s companies powerfully and securely harness the promise of mobility.”

These are the eight new devices HP launched this week:

  • HP Pro Slate 8
  • HP Pro Slate 12
  • HP Pro Tablet 408 G1
  • HP Elite x2 1011 G1
  • HP ElitePad 1000 Healthcare Solution
  • HP Retail Case for ElitePad
  • HP ElitePad 1000 Rugged Tablet
  • HP Pro Tablet 10 EE
  • HP Pro Slate 10 EE

Can you imagine Apple launching eight new products in one day? Neither can we. But HP is taking a different approach, targeting consumers not all at once but individually, addressing the unique problems of each industry. That doesn’t mean it will work, of course—as tablet makers have been learning the hard way since 2010, merely building it does not mean they will come. Still, it’s an idea.