PC pain: HP's sales are suffering from a hardware slump

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Having Problems

HP reported disappointing sales figures yesterday, as the company continues to suffer from the post-pandemic PC demand slump. Quarterly revenue sits at $12.9bn, down 22% from the same time in 2022, with the personal systems division hit hardest, falling 29% year-over-year. However, there is some room for optimism as PC inventories wane and the upcoming back-to-school and holiday season hold promise for a potential rebound.

Originally founded in 1939 in a garage, that’s since been commemorated with a plaque as "the birthplace of Silicon Valley," HP was established by two childhood friends, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. At the time, printers were largely limited to industrial-sized printing presses, and Palo Alto was mostly known for its fruitful orchards rather than its bustling tech scene.  And whilst the company played a pivotal role in making home computers and printers more accessible and affordable for the average consumer, HP is now struggling to keep pace with the rapid technological revolution it helped shape.

Printing money?

In 2015, the company split its mature personal systems and printer divisions from its enterprise side, separating devices like notebooks, desktops, and printers from segments related to servers, storage, and consulting. The personal systems and printer arm became HP Inc., with the former doing much of the heavy lifting sales-wise, contributing 70% to the annual revenue figure for 2022.

Like almost every other company in the tech space, HP is now placing much of its future focus on AI. CEO Enrique Lores is already touting potential products using the technology, such as PCs that can apparently build spreadsheets and analyze data in record time (sign us up).

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