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HP Has Another Crack At Stimulating Interest In Their PC Products After Big Losses + Fines

By David Richards | Wednesday | 02/10/2013

Struggling US technology company Hewlett-Packard, which last year reported losses in Australia of $58M after being ordered to pay a $3M fine for misleading consumers about the warranties associated with their PC's, is having another crack at trying to stimulate interest in its PC range after witnessing a significant fall in sales during the past 12 months.

On October 15th the company is set to roll out several new PC products at a media event. This will be the first time that the company has held a press event after a Federal Court Judge slammed it for misleading consumers about their warranty rights associated with its PC and printer products.

Among the products set to launched by HP Australia is a new line-up of Intel Haswell-powered laptops for business users, including a business ultrabook that the company claims has passed nine military grade durability tests.

Ironically,iIn July 2013, HP Australia conceded  to the Federal Court that it had engaged in conduct which was misleading and deceptive, or likely to mislead or deceive.

It was also revealed that several Hewlett Packard Computer Products purchased prior to 1 January 2011 were not of merchantable quality and when consumers complained or tried to get their HP products fixed, the company refused or failed to remedy the failure of the HP product or it took an unreasonable period of time to fix problems associated with their notebooks.

The Company which is desperate to kick-start their PC sales in Australia claim that H-P's Elitebook 800 series business ultrabook is 40 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the range that it replaces, the Elitebook 8000 series.

The new models are claimed to feature strong resistance against pressure, humidity, temperature, drop impacts, physical shock, dust and moisture including spillage.

Three versions will be available: the 12-inch 820 G1, the 14-inch 840 G1 and the 15-inch 850 G1, each with a "leather feel" material covering its chassis.

 H-P Australia will unveil its latest business offerings at a media event in Sydney on October 15. The range is said to encompass "workstations, thin clients, commercial notebooks and desktops, laser and ink-based printing technologies".

According to documents filed with the Australian Securities & Investment Commission earlier this year, HP Australia went from a profit in 2011 of $134M to a loss of $58M in 2012. A contributor to the loss was a $30M tax liability.

Sale of goods revenue in 2012 slumped from $2.58 billion in 2011 to $2.18 billion.

Also slumping was finance revenue, which fell from $6.3M to $5.16M.

Also impacting HP Australia was a move by the Federal Court which slapped Hewlett-Packard with a $3 million fine after a lengthy investigation by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, which concluded that HP management engaged in a "widespread and systemic" process that resulted in hundreds of consumers being misled by the Australian subsidiary.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said it was an important case. "The misconduct was widespread and systemic from a very large multinational firm."

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