Italy is now emerging from the most difficult period of its post-war history, that of the Coronavirus, the blocking of production activities and the limitations of personal freedoms. The last two are now waning, the virus has not yet disappeared.
This has led to many changes in the habits of Italians, many of whom have had to adapt to work from home. But how to do without the right tools? Especially in some work areas, think for example of creators, powerful and reliable computers are needed to perform certain activities in the best possible way, but not everyone has one available outside the office.
A complex situation, especially in a country like ours, which he has never really married the home working philosophy. We talked about it with Giampiero Savorelli, Category Director Personal Systems Southern Europe at HP, who better explained the current situation of the notebook market in Italy and the new trends that came to the fore with the outbreak of the pandemic.
Everyeye : How big is the creator market today?
Giampiero Savorelli: the creator market is new, HP has been following it for about a year, it is a sector that is growing a lot and is also linked to the evolution of mobile devices, such as notebooks and mobile workstations, which are increasingly powerful and have made it possible to use heavy applications even on devices of this type.
It is a market dedicated to specific users, such as engineering companies, architects, it is difficult to estimate at the level of potential size, from the surveys we made recently it represents about 30% of the workstation market. we must also understand what the definition of creator is . The products we have recently announced are aimed at different markets as a type of customer. HP Envy 15 is a typically consumer product , the HP ZBook Create are professional products , real workstations, this shows how the creator market is a bit mainstream.
Creatives can be identified in that 30% of the workstation market but it is probably a much larger sector, it is not easy to evaluate it because anyone can compare an Envy 15 and create content, now the power available to mobile devices can make anyone a creator, if you have the right creativity, passion and time.
Potential customers are different, ranging from engineer to architect to gamers . It is a market that straddles the high-end consumer market and the professional one. As HP we are very interested in this market, both from the point of view of product innovation and in terms of the communication of these products.
Everyeye: In the last period, companies are focusing more and more on creators, we have seen it in the sector fairs, where these products have been presented in large quantities. It seems that the interest of producers points more and more in this area rather than on gaming, which was previously the most popular. Is the gaming notebook market slowing down a bit, or is there simply more interest in products for creatives right now?
Giampiero Savorelli : For us the gaming market is absolutely a prioritywithin the consumer world, along with premium products and thinner, lighter and more beautiful notebooks, such as the Specter series. The gaming market is actually still growing, there are important investments. We as HP have a brand, Omen, which identifies our gaming products from the point of view of the characteristics they must have, from the keyboard to the heat dissipation system.
But within the measurements that are made, many of the NVIDIA graphics card products fall under the definition of gaming notebooks. It is a market where, more and more, the user buys a notebook like the Envy 15, which does not look like a gaming notebook, but has similar performance.
There is a bit of this type of overlap, as HP we are still pushing a lot on gaming, we also have the Pavilion Gaming line , more mid-range, up to the high one with the Omen, which has very high performance, being specifically designed devices for playing. Like HP, among the priorities we have, gaming remains among the most important, for the technology behind it and for the higher value than the average of the PCs that are sold.
Everyeye: How much do you think the coronavirus-related lockdown could increase sales of mobile workstations? Today we work more and more from home, notebooks like the ones you presented can come in handy.
Giampiero Savorelli : It is a broad discourse, the lockdown on the PC world has caused an acceleration, especially in the mobile field. This acceleration has mainly affected Italy , I also deal with France and Spain in my work, but in Italy it has mainly affected the notebook world.
This makes us understand how the digital transformation discourse, which has been talked about for at least 4-5 years if not more, about the office of the future and the possibility of working remotely had never actually been applied in our country , both by companies and consumers.
We see two kinds of dynamics right now. On the one hand we have an acceleration in the demand for notebooks, both normal laptops and workstations, on the other hand we have an increasing demand for superior functionality. We have seen, especially from some customers but also in the consumer sphere, a request for higher-end machines, because we have realized that these are critical tools.
Working from home you need reliable products, with high autonomy, light, but above all designed to work in groups remotely, with buttons dedicated to the start of phone and video calls.
Another issue on which HP has been pushing for years is that of security, a more professional and less consumer environment. Having a protected machine is definitely a competitive advantage . In the office we are protected by more advanced security systems, at home we are not and this can lead to problems that can compromise the use of the PC.
The services should not be forgotten. In this period, customers are purchasing higher levels of coverage from a warranty extension standpoint. Working from home, assistance is essential, which is why we are offering assistance services available 24 hours a day 7 days a week , to ensure the maximum reliability of our devices.
In Italy now the world of education is also increasingly interested in remote teaching. The government has allocated funds to support schools in this period of remote learning. This market is experiencing an acceleration never seen in our country. We are also working a lot with our partners, such as Microsoft and Google, to bring solutions that start from devices dedicated to the school up to services.
In several schools around the world, regardless of the situation, we have installed learning studio devices, with which to endure classes not only with PCs but also with printers, 3D printers, to give students a new learning experience.
In summary, the markets that accelerated during the lockdown are notebooks, mobile workstations and education.
Everyeye : Still on the subject of the lockdown, why in Italy, after about two weeks from the start of the quarantine, the printers had practically disappeared from the market or at best they had very high prices?
Giampiero Savorelli: Customers, individuals and companies, have understood that some things that previously seemed optional are actually very important. The printer has always been conceived as a cost, when in fact it is a critical tool when you need it . In this case there was a very large demand for products in a short time and stocks ran out quickly.
Everyeye In the notebooks recently presented there is only one laptop with an AMD processor, despite the progress made by the American house in the last year, and in anticipation of the Ryzen 4000, which promise very well. Do you plan to focus more on AMD in the future?
Giampiero Savorelli: Looking at our product range, especially in the notebook world, we have a complete offer, which includes solutions from both AMD and Intel. When there is an Intel machine, in 90% of cases there is also an AMD counterpart. It is clear that Intel is the absolute market leader, but HP will continue to work with both. One important thing that I didn’t say at the beginning.
The separation of Hewlett-Packard into two companies, between HPE and HP Inc., which occurred at the beginning of the year, resulted in a crazy acceleration from the point of view of innovation, because the research and development funds were targeted on PCs and printers .
This has meant that in the last 3-4 years we have innovated heavily by introducing new products, so it is likely that in the near future there will be both products with AMD and Intel processors, it’s just a matter of waiting for the next announcements. Our strategy, on the Intel-AMD issue remains constant and consistent with what we have done so far.