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HP's Coolest Products Win Praise From Apple Store Customers In Enemy Territory

HP Inc. is so confident in the design wow-factor of its new PC products that it decided to go to the "bastion of Apple loyalty--the Apple store" to show off new HP devices.

HP Inc. is so confident in the design wow-factor of its new PC products that it took them into the heart of enemy territory – the Apple Store – to see how Mac diehards would respond.

The results showed why HP's laptops are gaining share from rival Apple, said HP Inc. President Ron Coughlin, in a fiery address to 1,300 solution providers at the company's Global Partner Conference Monday just before he presented a video showing Apple customers freaking out over how slick HP's products are.

"Apple is untouchable no more. Apple is leading design trends no more. Apple is leading in innovation no more. Apple is gaining share no more. Apple is growing no more," Coughlin said to channel partners. "It is HP who is gaining that share. It is you who are gaining that share."

Conceding there may be Apple "fan boys" and "fan girls" in the room that may be doubting HP's superiority, Coughlin said HP decided to go to the "bastion of Apple loyalty--the Apple store" to show off the HP devices.

[Weisler: HP Is 'Putting Its Money Where Its Mouth' Is To Disrupt the Copier Market With Samsung Deal - New A3 Portfolio​]

In the video, Apple customers were taken aback by the sleek HP products with one customer using an expletive – "No @#*@" to describe how shocked she was, while another noted that the HP notebook was "much lighter than my MacBook."

"I am blown away, man," said another Apple customer in the video. "They clearly stepped their game up."

"Oh my God," declared another customer.

"This is cheaper," exclaimed another Apple customer.

"We are taking the beeping awesome and the dope away from Apple," said Coughlin to loud applause from HP partners.

HP and its partners are taking share from Apple with a "finally aggressively attacking" sales charge, said Coughlin. "You took three share points from Apple and we gained three share points [from Apple]," he said.

CRN reached out to Apple for comment but had not received a reply at press time.

HP reached an historic high share in the worldwide commercial PC market in the most recent quarter with a 1.8-point increase to 24.5 percent, said Coughlin. The record performance had HP partners high fiving one another in the audience.

That success is a testament to an HP innovation engine firing on all cylinders, said Coughlin. "There are those that said the HP innovation engine had lost its gas," said Coughlin. "What do we say to those people?" The audience responded: "Hell no!"

Among HP's recent stunning PC lineup, which has received rave reviews from partners, are HP Spectre, the world's lightest, thinnest consumer notebook; ZBook Studio, the first quad-core mobile workstation; Envy, first curved all-in-one PC, Slice, HP's smallest desktop form factor, and the Elite x3 mobile device.

Harry Zarek, CEO of Compugen, one of HP's top partners, No. 67 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500 list, praised Coughlin for striking at the heart of Apple with an HP portfolio that capitalizes on the consumerization of IT.

"HP understands that if it gets the kids and the consumers, it will infiltrate the office," said Zarek. "They are throwing the gauntlet down."

Henry Fleches, CEO of United Data Technologies (UDT) one of HP's top partners, No. 106 on the CRN 2016 SP500 list, said HP products are "100 percent cooler" under the new independent HP Inc. "We're seeing products that executives are proud to carry into meetings," he said.

There is an entrepreneurial fire in the new HP Inc. that is contagious, said Fleches. "It's a complete change in their products, go to market and thought process," he said. "You see it in the way they dress and approach customers."

Mont Phelps, CEO of NWN, No. 68 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500, which was named the HP Printer and Personal Systems Growth Reseller of the Year in 2015, said he is pumped up by the Apple attack. "It has just been a tremendous turnaround in the last year," he said. "It has exceeded my expectations."

Kent MacDonald, vice president of business development at Calgary, Alberta-based Long View Systems, an HP partner, No. 85 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500, said it is good to see HP on their front feet aggressively challenging Apple with innovative products. "It's a lot of innovation," he said. "They are committed and focused."

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