Tech Check

Today in Tech: D-Day for HP and a Grand Opening for Apple


It's decision day for HP's webOS, opening day for Apple's Grand Central retail store, and a rough day for the electronics supply chain.

Let's have a look at what's driving the sector:

Texas Instruments gave a disappointing mid-quarterupdate yesterday that sent the stock down more than 2.5 percent at the open. The Q4 EPS range is now between $.21 $.25 per share, on sales between $3.19 billion and $3.33 billion. The previous range was 28 cents to 36 cents a share on $3.26 billion to $3.54 billion in revenue. The culprit? Weak demand across multiple categories that use TXN's analog chips. Of course, this probably says more about Q1 2012 for the rest of the industry than Q4.

It is opening day for Apple's huge store in New York's Grand Central Terminal. The stats: 23,000 square feet, 315 employees, and rent? 180 bucks per square foot for 10 years.

Coming up later today around 4:30 on Closing Bell, I'll introduce you to Kiip, a startup run by fresh-faced Brian Wong, all of 20 years old. He's got a bright idea about how to reinvent in-game advertising by milking those moments when you feel like a winner.

And, today at 1:30 eastern, HP is holding an internal meeting revealing the fate of webOS, the long-suffering software it acquired with Palm.

My take? The decision shouldn't be whether to keep webOS, but how to do it without breaking the bank.

If HP's serious about the consumer market, owning its own intellectual property Is key. And with tablets like the iPad surging, HP's highly profitable printer revenue looks vulnerable in 2012. As more people buy tablets instead of PCs, they're also going to buy covers and cases (or 3G data plans) instead of printers. HP will need homegrown software to reinvent printing ... and to basically rethink the way information gets shared in the mobile era.

No matter which way it goes, this will go down as a key decision from new HP CEO Meg Whitman.

Share your thoughts -- hit me up on twitter @jonfortt. Have a great weekend.

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