Monday, August 29, 2011

HP Touchpad: Early Failure??

Looks like the HP touchpad, announced by the company in February and released in July has been a disappointment since it is struggling to sale in retail, even though supported by repeated price cuts. An early failure for HP?

Once the 4G touchpad has been released to the retail market, several retailers have ordered large amounts for sale. Retail chain stores such as 'Best Buy' and 'Walmart' have been involved in supplying the touchpad to the public. But looks like the results were not the ones that the shops expected. Reports show that out of the 270.000 pieces of the HP touchpad originally ordered by 'Best Buy', only 25.000 have been sold, a very frustrating outcome (even worst for HP, 'Best Buy' started discussion for taking back free of charge the rest of the order). Such dissapointing results were observed even though the company has repeatedly decreased the price of the touchpad, starting from 50 and ending up to a permanent 100 dollar decrease from the original price of 500 dollars for the 16GB version and 600 dollars for the 32 GB version.

Were does this failure for sales comes from? Opinions tend to vary..

Some people think that the price is very high for such a touchpad. The capabilities of HP's 4G platform slightly lower than iPad's performance but the price was the same. Combined with the brand equity that Apple has achieved, at this price HP had not much to expect for. It was quite obvious that customers would prefer the iPad.

Other people think that applications are the problem. Right now Apple offers about 400.000 applications and Android offers about 200.000. HP has not invested in this area, offering less than 100.000 applications, 1/4 of total Apple apps. This factor also pushes custimers to an iPad or an Android tablet, taking them away from HP's touchpad.

In general, HP touchpad does not really offer some competitive advantage over other tablets such as iPad or Xoom. Instead, it has almost the same price and its capabilities are slightly weaker. Moreover, HP has not yet earned a brand name such as Apple's in the field of tablets. All these factors have pushed down the sales of the specific tablet, offering frustrating almost two month after its release. 

One thing is for certain: HP should be investing more time, money and effort in competing the other companies in the tablet market if better results are to be achieved.

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