Feb 25, 2016 | By Kira

HP Inc.’s first ever first-quarter results as an independent company are in, and the numbers are not looking good: the PC/printer company’s PC sales are down 13%, printer sales are down 17%, and overall revenue is down 12%, all of which adds up nearly 3,000 employees who will be laid off by the end of 2016, rather than over a three-year period as originally planned.

Despite these dismal results, the newly formed spin-off of Hewlett Packard Enterprise has high hopes pinned on new and innovative technology products that it believes will attract new consumers and turn its fate around. Near the top of that list is HP’s long-awaited entry to the 3D printing market.

HP's Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer

Since 2014, HP has slowly been revealing details about its Multi Jet Fusion industrial 3D printing technology, a ‘groundbreaking and disruptive’ solution said to be faster than SLS, while producing superior quality, multi-color 3D printed parts. Designed specifically for production and prototyping needs in the commercial market, the Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer is not expected to be released until late 2016, but has nevertheless generated a considerable amount of optimism and confidence within the company. Now, more than ever, those are qualities HP seems to need.

The nearly 3,000 cuts, therefore, are targeted primarily at ‘non-revenue generating’ personnel, and according to HP, will not affect R&D or any parts of the company dedicated to strategic growth, such as 3D printing.

In addition to 3D printing, HP Inc. is also developing other ‘revolutionary’ tech products that create ‘new categories’ of computing, and go beyond the traditional PCs and printers it has long been known for.

Namely, at the Mobile World Congress held this week in Barcelona, HP launched the Elite X3, an innovative Windows 10 device that goes from large-screen smartphone to laptop to fully-fledged PC. It certainly sounds exciting, however like the Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer, it’s release is not expected until later this year (most likely in the summer).

"Innovation is the lifeblood of HP," said Dion Weisler, CEO of HP, in a conference call with industry analysts.  "As the global commercial PC leader, it is incumbent upon us to reinvent what the category is capable of and it is exciting to see the market's reaction to our progress."

In regards to HP’s 3D printing launch specifically, Weisler was even more optimistic, and hinted at the “groundbreaking, disruptive” technology could be launched earlier than expected. “We are on track. I was recently in Barcelona doing a review with the team where it was developed. There is some super exciting stuff going on there.”

And while being asked about 3D printing bubble, Weisler says: “All the hype was in consumer. That part of the market is not interesting to us. Production and prototyping is.”

HP Inc. CEO, Dion Weisler

Between these two revolutionary product launches, however, HP may have to find new and innovative ways to help drive its core business: the floundering personal computer and printer markets, given that in its first fiscal review, PC sales went down 13% to $7.5 billion and printers down 17% to $4.6 billion “The PC is not dead as so many people are saying," said Weisler. "My confidence is high in the HP Inc. team to add new exciting product lines and innovation to the market."

While the HP’s safe-for-now R&D team works that out, the accelerated layoff plan, which was originally announced in September and planned to see only 1,600 employees cut in 2016, is expected to produce up to $300 million in savings by 2017.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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