Can Hollywood lend perspective to the world of business? I think so. Today, for example, I'm thinking of Bill Murray's famous quote from Ghostbusters:
Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes ... The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together ... mass hysteria!
To that list, add Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) showing up Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) ... sort of.
HP's already the PC leader, with a 19.1% share of the worldwide market according to researcher IDC. This week, it rolled out some 50 new models, including a revamp of its touchscreen desktop.
That's right -- I said "touchscreen."
HP's new TouchSmart all-in-one desktop resembles an iMac. But according to published specs, it comes with a 22-inch screen, a faster processor, and more storage than its Apple rival, but costs $300 less.
What's interesting here isn't that HP rolled out a new touchscreen model. It's that HP has introduced a second-generation touch model before the Mac's daddy -- typically the innovator in all things PC -- introduced its first. How in the world ...?
You'd think that the iEmpire, flush with the success of the iPhone and the iPod Touch, would have launched a touchscreen iMac of its own at yesterday's Worldwide Developer Conference. Barring that, details of a forthcoming touchscreen Mac in development would have sufficed.
There is one in development, right Apple? There must be.
Even if there isn't, I can't see this hurting Apple as much as the bears who sold yesterday seem to think. HP can only do so much with its touchscreen technology, because it doesn't control the system that governs the basic operations of its PCs; Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) does. Apple won't have that problem if (when?) it decides to create a touchscreen Mac of its own.
Nevertheless, having a touchscreen interface positions HP as the innovator in its ongoing street fight for market share with Dell (Nasdaq: DELL ) , Acer, and Lenovo. Smart. We know from the iEmpire's successes that consumers appreciate an innovator -- especially when it's possible to walk into a store and experience those innovations before buying.
On that front, HP's relationships with Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) , Circuit City (NYSE: CC ) , and most other electronics suppliers seem to give it a retail edge that, so far, Dell appears unable to match.
Ashton Kutcher isn't in Cupertino, Fool. He's in Round Rock, Texas. Michael Dell just got punk'd.
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