The news that HP is selling its TouchPad tablet device for $99 at Best Buy may be good news for consumers – at least for a short while – it would appear to be an admission of defeat by HP.
TG Daily is reporting that the $99 price point isn't so much about HP settling in to undercut other companies' tablet devices, but more about moving inventory of a failed endeavor out of stockpiles. The 16 GB, webOS-powered device never seemed to catch on: consumers were much more interested in anything iPad or anything Android to really understand the point of the TouchPad, say some analysts.
At least the company is honest about its lack of success with the tablet. In a recent conference call, HP CEO Leo Apotheker told reporters, “Our WebOS devices have not gained enough traction in the marketplace with consumers,” said USA Today. (HP inherited WebOS when it purchased Palm in 2010.)
The TouchPad was introduced by HP back in July of this year. The marketplace reception was lukewarm, and many industry analysts quickly labeled it too expensive (it was introduced at the same price as Apple's wildly popular iPad 2) and too heavy (the tablet is 23 percent heavier than iPad 2).
Later in July, HP announced it would also debut a new model “HP TouchPad 4G” that had a faster 1.5-GHz processor, 32 GB of internal storage, integrated A-GPS, and AT&T 4G HSPA+ wireless connectivity. Though the company had prototypes built to demo to the press, the unit was never released for sale.
Last week, HP announced it planned to discontinue all webOS devices for the time being. It has not, however, given up on the tablet market entirely. CEO Apotheker told USA Today, “We're looking at all business models, from licensing to any other possibility for webOS.”
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