Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

Summary: It's easy to think that because the iPad is the king of the tablets that others players have little chance of making a splash. Not true. HP's TouchPad might be just the thing to shake things up a little.


It's easy to think that because the iPad is the king of the tablets that others players have little chance of making a splash. Not true. HP's TouchPad might be just the thing to shake things up a little.

Now, I don't for one moment underestimate what an absolute powerhouse Apple is, and how the company has not only been able to turn tablets into a mass-market product (something which was tried before, but which always failed), but also redefine the in the public's mind what a tablet is and does (for example, before the iPad the expectation was that a tablet would have to run Windows to be a mass market success).

But even with the iPad at number one, that still doesn't mean that there isn't room for other players. A good tablet could do well and bring in big bucks for the company behind it. And the HP TouchPad is a serious contender.

So, what does the TouchPad have to its advantage? Well, first there's price. The WiFi models will retail for $499 for the 16GB model, and $599 for the 32GB model ... in line with Apple's iPad pricing. The first mistake that competitors have done with their tablets is to price them above that of the iPad. Right now there just isn't the market for a premium 'non-iPad' tablet.

Next there's availability. July 1st, with pre-orders starting June 19th. Weeks, not months. This is important.

Then there's the webOS factor. Android has had some pretty bad press on tablets, especially Honeycomb, so there's a freshness to webOS. And webOS is a pretty decent platform. It saddens me to say it, but the fact that HP's offering is not an Android tablet is a advantage.

Also, let's not forget that the TouchPad looks like a decent bit of kit. Compared to a lot of tablets that have been released over the past few months, it's certainly not junky.

But ...

There are no guarantees. There's little in the way of an app ecosystem for the tablet, which could be a big problem for potential home and enterprise users. Apps are the backbone of the iOS platform and it's hard to see how any device that's not backed up by a mature ecosystem. That could take time - a lot of time - which could give the iPad even more market share.

What do you think? Does the TouchPad have a chance?

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, iPad, Laptops, Mobility

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  • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

    HP's following the Apple model here of being the only company to produce a tablet with the operating system. Which has the downside of starting up its own app market, but since they hold all the cards I see the possibilities going great for them. Since they have the phone and tablets integrated so much, I can see a lot of people buying one of each for simplicity.
    • HP Also has the logistics


      HP also has the international logistics to deliver this product to every corner of the earth. Something that Apple is lacking. Even if it fails to do well in the US, it could be a hit in Europe and Asia.
      Your Non Advocate
  • Nope, it does not

    HP has so-so quality control in pc (just replaced two hard drives in last couple of weeks).
    I guess that is why MS want to creat it own brand tablet.
    • QC

      @FADS_z We'll have to see about this one. I am guessing Foxconn is the manufacturer (same as iPad), so much of the QC lies in their hands. Assuming the hardware specs were 'tight' to begin with, I would expect equivalent quality. But, you never know.
    • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

      @FADS_z How does a hard drive ding HP quality? They don't manufacture the hard drives!
      • Oh, really? who make the whole product these days?

        Cars, TV, even your house. That is quality control for, they have to test and make sure assembled parts are reliable.

        I have one dell pc (d830) for over three years, battery still last more than two hours. No issues for hard-drive too.

        Replaced One two-year old HP laptop for both batter and hard-drive. Another HP PC hard-drive died less than one year old. Good it is still in warranty.
      • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

        @hjenkins1 No laptops by HP, but I've had two desktops in the last six years by HP and the quality was poor, and my friends report similar difficulties.
    • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

      I am sitting here with two HP desktops. 1 is a year old the other is 2 to 3 years old. Both of them shut down because of heat problems. HP quality control sucks. You will probably need to buy a block of ice to sit the touchpad on to keep it cool!
    • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

      @FADS_z HP does not manufacture hard drives - it procures them from the same handful of sources as everyone else, including Apple.
  • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

    "pretty decent" doesn't take over from an existing leader
    "in line with" pricing doesn't take over from an existing leader
    starting from scratch with apps doesn't either

    I don't see that this argument holds water
    • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

      Just llike there's an ABM crowd, there's an ABA crowd. And, there's the "I like webOS" crowd - the Palm fans.
      Dr. John
      • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

        I'll admit the consumer line of HP computer products is not so hot but their Corperate lines are very good. I've been an HP shop for will over 10 years. I would estimate my failure rate for desktops, laptop, and servers is well under 1%. I currently have 150+ desktops and laptops plus 20+ proliant servers (12 running in a VSphere cluster).
  • Another reason it has a chance

    You forgot to mention the enterprise market. I work very closely with my IT department and while they love the "coolness" of the ipads, they roll their eyes when they talk about the "nightmare" (their word, not mine) they are on their end of it. HP will be trying to fill the vacuum created by RIM's sudden free-fall that Apple just can't fill at this time. WebOS 3.0 will be much more able to do just that.
    (Just so you know, I am a big webOS fan and user, but I also am a big admirer of what Apple has accomplished in the past decade, inventing markets out of nothing and seizing opportunities that others couldn't or didn't even see.)
    • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

      @TimmyB, I don't know about that. I know people in the IT departments of several large corporations who have been buying iPads, and they seem very happy with them. No special difficulties in integrating them, and the users are also happy with them. It seems to me that other than limited Playbook takeup, other tablets will have a hard time breaking in. The HP tablet has nothing to offer right now to business. Again, no apps, and no business apps. One more time; no apps.
      • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

        @melgross The iPad had no apps when it was introduced. Rather than make pronouncements based on zero information, why not wait and see how it does?
      • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

        @melgross: from a business computing point of view, the iPad also has no apps:
        * Presentations: can't edit/display powerpoint, very limited keynote compatibility
        * Corporate portals: no flash compatibility means a lot of corporate portal apps don't work (I have run into this repeatedly)
        * Corporate SaaS applications: limited javascript compatibility and difficulty selecting and interacting with GUI widgets found in a lot of CRM/ERP apps makes the iPad nearly incompatible
        * MS Word - no compatible way of editing on the iPad. Transfer from iPad or Mac editors destroys formatting

        As I see it, the iPad is just for email and casual browsing, hardly a "business-ready" system.
  • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

    Everything has a chance. The question is whether that chance is great, or very small. With Palm, WebOs wasn't going anywhere. Terrible relations with developers, so few apps were available. Poor HW quality, etc.

    We've yet to see what HP can do with this. A clone of the iPad is what it looks like from a hardware perspective, but few apps. No apps actually. Why haven't they done something there before the device comes out so that they aren't stuck the way Honeycomb tablets are? Without a decent stable of apps, it won't matter if the tablet is perfect.
  • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

    You're saying an advantage of the TouchPad is that they *matched* the price of the iPad? For a bulkier, heavier device with no buzz and no apps and needing a Palm phone to use all the features?

    What have you been smoking, and where can I get some?
    The Iconoclast
  • RE: Why the HP TouchPad has a chance

    I hope the quality of HPs Touch Pad is better than the grammar and syntax in this article. It looks to have been written by thumb on a smartphone. But the lack of substance in the story will probably be a good match for the absence of apps on the Touch Pad. For instance, "...the TouchPad looks like a decent bit of kit." What kit? No examples, no links.

    This article is an incredibly slap-dash effort on Mr. Kingsley-Hughes' part and does HP no favors with its faint praise and inadequate supporting arguments. It appears to have been written under deadline by a man with too many other things on his mind.
  • Too few apps?

    There still is -- to my knowledge -- nothing comparable to VisualBasic(r) for app creation. Whatever tablet platform can invent, even for sale, an app maker for ordinary folk, will win my market share. Here is another possible advantage to an eventual Windows tablet: folk could use VB to make an app that does what they want, without having, first, to earn a Masters degree in memory management.