Five months after its historic split, HP Inc, maker of printers and PCs, is hoping to take on Apple in the laptop market as it searches for fresh sources of growth.
Dion Weisler, chief executive, told the Financial Times that focusing on new premium products was one of his priorities.
“I think we are pretty effective with building a premium line to take on share in Apple’s traditional space,” he said, pointing to HP’s newest laptops. “Over the last five to six years, we weren’t doing enough at the high end.”
While the global PC market has been shrinking since 2013, Apple has bucked the trend and seen sales of its MacBook increase — a trend that HP wants to emulate.
HP, the world’s second largest PC maker by shipments after Chinese rival Lenovo, faces a challenging outlook, with the company planning to make about 6 per cent of its 50,000 staff redundant this year.
The company relies on PC sales for two-thirds of its revenue. Mr Weisler said he believes the decline in the PC market “will moderate over time”, but did not know exactly when an uptick would occur.
Analysts at Credit Suisse forecast that HP’s PC sales will fall 9 per cent this year.
Another challenge has been the strong dollar and the weak yen, which gives Japanese competitors a big cost advantage. “We accept that it is the new normal,” Mr Weisler said, adding that HP’s response had been to cut costs. These measures have included accelerating the pace of lay-offs.