HP Responds to Jobs' Touchscreen Stance

image via DVICE

If you follow Apple news, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the eloquent off-the-cuff zingers that Steve Jobs routinely levels at his company’s competitors. Whether he’s riffing on Flash or whittling down fingers, the Apple CEO always has an opinion. Sometimes, Apple’s competitors respond to his quips by pouting or spewing forth propaganda in order to offset the damage a verbal barrage from Jobs can render on a company’s fortunes. After listening to Jobs talk smack about how terrible touchscreen PCs were at a recent Apple Event, Hewlett Packard has come back with a few points of their own, taking aim at Apple’s implementation of a touch interface.

During Apple’s Back to the Mac Event a few weeks ago, Jobs declared that “…touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical. It gives great demo but after a short period of time, you start to fatigue and after an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off. it doesn’t work; it’s ergonomically terrible.” This comment was an affront to HP, who ships large numbers of their popular TouchSmart line of desktop and portable computers. In response to Jobs’ attack on on of their breadwinners, HP’s product marketing manager for PCs Ken Bosley, told DVICE came back with some well thought out points for the Apple CEO to consider:

“I would say that would be a very good observation for a device that only had touchscreen input, but that’s not the devices that we make. Our devices have keyboard, mouse, touchscreen and voice . And they’re all good for certain interactions. You will not sit there and work on an Excel spreadsheet for two hours with touch.”

Bosley continued by admitting that as Jobs pointed out at the Back to the Mac Event, a touchscreen interface on a laptop isn’t an ideal situation:

“Part of the issue is the touchscreen is very expensive, so there’s a very significant cost adder for that form factor. The other thing is… when you touch the screen, the screen [shouldn’t] wobble or move, because if that happens the touch doesn’t work at all. The screen’s got to be rock-solid. That’s very, very difficult to do in a laptop, where the screen just sort of fundamentally folds. It’s a tough problem, and no one’s come up with a great solution yet.”

We have to say that it’s a breath of fresh air to see this level of professionalism coming from a corporate rep, especially seeing his company take a few painful body blows from the verbally adept Jobs. Well played, HP. Well played.

 

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