Sydney, 13 November 2013
Latest developments in the unfolding saga of sales halt of HP Chromebook 11 have seen both the key retail outlets now pulling it off the shelf following customer complaints of overheating chargers. HP is asking the existing owners of the product to use ‘any other Underwriters Laboratories-listed micro-USB charger’ with the product.
Chromebook 11 was launched for $279 with much fanfare by HP and Google last month and was strategically placed for sale at Best Buy and Amazon. Despite the high expectations, the reviews found performance issues with the trackpad. An HP spokesperson – Sheila_Watson – posted on their blog:
‘Google and HP are pausing sales of the HP Chromebook 11 after receiving a small number of user reports that some chargers included with the device have been damaged due to over-heating during use. We are working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to identify the appropriate corrective action, and will provide additional information and instructions as soon as we can.
In the meantime, customers who have purchased an HP Chromebook 11 should not use the original charger provided with the product. In the interim they may continue using their HP Chromebook 11 with any other Underwriters Laboratories-listed micro-USB charger, for example one provided with a tablet or smartphone. We apologize for the inconvenience.’
A similar statement was also posted on the Google Chrome Blog by Caesar Sengupta, VP, Product Management.
Frequently well made products are let down by peripheral accessories manufactured by third party suppliers that are part of the business networks of large corporations. This is not the first time HP has been let down by its supply chain partners noted Vivek Sood –author of the book “Move Beyond the Traditional Supply Chains: The 5-STAR Business Networks”. In the past there were instances in 2008 when up to 24 HP laptop models were affected by the NVIDIA chipsets overheating. Both Dell and HP were affected in that instance. In another instance Sony manufactured batteries that overheated during use in Dell laptops, affecting the results of both companies.
“It is critical that companies choose their supply networks diligently, and test the products rigorously before releasing them in the market. The recall and sales halts do not only affect the company reputation but also its financial results. Chromebook 11 is not yet a major part of HP’s product portfolio, yet this fiasco will adversely affect the business network relationship between HP and Google for several product planning cycles”
said Vivek Sood
HP will bear the brunt of this sales halt, not only because of its deeper involvement in production and supply of the product, but also because of its history of similar problems in the past. However, Google will also be adversely affected due to its supply chain and business network relationship with HP in this case. While it is impossible to predict the total impact at this early stage, as a preliminary estimate 2%-4% overall switch in market share can be expected over the holiday period, as a result.