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  1. ruefrak's Avatar
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       #1  
    When HP announced the Touchpad back in February, the comparisons to Apple's iPad began immediately. Both devices were of a similar form factor. Their screens had the same dimensions and resolution. They also both ran operating systems originally designed for smartphones.
    Since the launch of the Touchpad there are even more comparisons to the iPad in regards to user experience and performance. Size and weight are also heavily compared. The thing that baffles me though is that people are constantly comparing the approaches of HP and Apple in the way they sell them, and come from a starting point that Apple's is the correct approach. Indeed, up until now, Apple's has been pretty much the only approach. What do I mean?
    Let's take a look at Apple's production cycle. Across their product line, they generally release one version of a product each year. Every year the iPad will get updated. Every year the iPhones and iPods will get an update as well. No sooner. Apple does not, as a rule, constantly update its products throughout the year to reflect the latest and greatest in processors or accessories. It's very comforting knowing that if you purchase an iPad or iMac after it gets a refresh, there isn't going to be a new one coming along for quite awhile.
    HP on the other hand is a company that cranks out updates as fast as they can. When Intel releases a faster processor, HP is putting them into PCs as quickly as they can. They refresh their hardware so often during the year that nobody ever really keeps track of when it happens. This is how they approach their products. So when Jon Rubinstein said, "Because we can" when asked about why the 4G Touchpad was going to have a faster processor, it's keeping in with the HP way. A number of prominent bloggers took him to town for this beause they felt improving the processor so soon after the launch was a bad idea. In reality, it's a good idea, it's just not an Apple idea. It's how HP works, not Apple.
    So if you were one of the first to buy a Touchpad and you're upset because a faster one is already in the pipeline, just know that a faster one will probably becoming a few months later. And then ones with different screen sizes. The Touchpad is going to get refreshed a number of times in the next year, and yes the one that was purchased on July 1 will be soon obsolete. But this is how HP makes computers. The laptop that I bought less than a year ago is now woefully out of date.
    Another big difference between the two companies is in regard to pricing. Apple sets a price for its products, factoring in a nice profit margin, and then sells it at that price for the life of the device. With the exception of special holiday or back to school sales, Apple doesn't discount their prices. Also, third party retailers are not allowed to discount their prices (with very rare exceptions). That is why a $499 iPad from Apple also costs you $499 from Best Buy.
    HP on the other hand is the discount king. I dare you to find a computer on their website that doesn't have some special offer or discount. They bundle their products together to give you a better price. Retailers selling their products change the prices to compete with each other. That's the way HP approaches it.
    Now people are commenting constantly that these discounts are signs that HP is getting desperate. They say HP needed to lower the price in order to sell Touchpads. Maybe this is true, and maybe it isn't. HP is going to offer discounts regardless of how well it's selling. They sell more computers than any company on the planet, and yet they offer discounts on practically every one of them.
    It's also important to remember that HP is not lowering the price of the Touchpad. The 16gb version is still $499. The 32gb is still $599. Yes, with discounts and rebates you are actually paying a lot less at the register, but the main price remains the same. HP knows that once the price is lowered, you can never raise it again. However, if the lower price is due to a temporary discount, then you can maintain your current price point while still spurring sales.

    I know this is all a little long winded, but my main point is that HP and Apple have two different approaches to their seemingly similar offerings. Neither way is the "right" way, they're just different, but it seems like a lot of people are approaching it as though Apple's is the right way and HP is wrong for not following it.
    Last edited by ruefrak; 08/04/2011 at 09:45 AM. Reason: typo
  2. #2  
    This belongs on the front page.
  3. #3  
    +1 You should be writing articles for the site
  4. #4  
    Excellent Post.

    You explained everything well. HP was going to start discounting regardless. You don't see RIMM lowering their AWFUL Playbook, ect..

    You should become a writer for PC Mag or something.
  5. ijip's Avatar
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    #5  
    eh, the truth of the matter is apple is on a roll and can do almost no wrong right now. 10 years ago apple was nowhere.
    HP if they choose to, can really get the ball rolling with webOS. But they need more and better engineers too. Its all about the execution now. So if they can keep webOS fresh for the next two years, things will take off.

    one thing HP needs to do is get out new innovative products by q4 this year... Once rimm gets its new os out things will get very very tough for webos...
    Want to help design and write an app?
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    THANKS~!!
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by ruefrak View Post
    ...
    I know this is all a little long winded, but my main point is that HP and Apple have two different approaches to their seemingly similar offerings. Neither way is the "right" way, they're just different, but it seems like a lot of people are approaching it as though Apple's is the right way and HP is wrong for not following it.
    I agree with the first post after this, it should be on the front page. If more webOS enthusiasts (and even anti-enthusiasts) understood this, there'd be a lot less of the silliness we see.
  7. #7  
    Now people are commenting constantly that these discounts are signs that HP is getting desperate. They say HP needed to lower the price in order to sell Touchpads. Maybe this is true, and maybe it isn't. HP is going to offer discounts regardless of how well it's selling. They sell more computers than any company on the planet, and yet they offer discounts and practically every one of them.
    HP didn't spend $2B on WebOS to give up after a month. I'm sure they understood going into this, that they were going to have to discount vs. Apple to build market share. this is just the first step in a very long journey. It's not about the success of a particular product, it's a recognition that the mobile market is just getting started and any viable computer company needs to be a player in that market.

    eh, the truth of the matter is apple is on a roll and can do almost no wrong right now. 10 years ago apple was nowhere.
    And in 1984 they were on a roll in the PC market... then they were quickly eclipsed by the PC clone market and relegated to a niche player.. who's to say that won't happen here?
  8. #8  
    The simple matter is that people assume Apple and HP are the same. They are NOT. Period.
  9. #9  
    Great Post with some very insightful observations. I with the OP agree completely. I own a PC because it is open source and I can modify it to work the way I do. I own a Pre Plus because it is open source and I can modify it to work the way I do. I don’t own any Apple products (not even an iPod) because I don’t like a company telling me how I should do things.
    Palm m130 > Verizon Trēo 650 > Verizon Trēo 755p > Verizon Palm Prē Plus > TouchPad > Verizon Palm Prē 2
    ~ The Future's Just Not What it Used To Be ~
  10. #10  
    1. Excellent post, excellent.

    2. I think you are right, and that does raise one possible concern for me. In PCs, they are updating the hardware, and it is Microsoft's job to improve the OS to keep up with them. The vast majority of programs are designed to run on the last 2 or even 3 versions of Microsoft's OS. In the mobile space, that isn't the case. PLENTY of apps are only able to run the most recent OS Version. If their becomes a disparity (a la android) in apps available for some TP's and not others, HP will be the one left to deal with it, not Microsoft. The other half of Apple's strategy that benefits people is that apple tends to support the last 3 generations of their product, so customers have that confidence. HP will have to be careful not to fall into the trap of leaving TP customers in the dust after 1-1.5 years as I imagine most of their customers will expect more life out of their purchase.

    Not knocking the strategy, just cautiously optimistic that HP has considered the subtle changes that will need to be made for this type of product.
    k4ever likes this.
  11. #11  
    X-celent!!

    I told in other topics: the HP begun after, but now is the number one in printers, desktops, notebooks and netbooks...


    Best Regards...
    "If A Man Isn't Willing To Take Some Risk For His Opinions, Either His Opinions Are No Good Or He's No Good!" - Ezra Pound (Poet & Critic)
    (Happy A Lot, As A Good Carioca!)
  12. gbp
    gbp is offline
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    #12  
    Good post with one missing angle. Existing Stock. They need to clean up the stock they have from china. HP was supposed to "move" 3-5 million of these tablets in the market. The only way they can do is by offering discounts. In addition the market share gains are a big plus for developer community. I bet they will eventually become the No2 tablet seller after Apple.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by ruefrak View Post
    It's also important to remember that HP is not lowering the price of the Touchpad. The 16gb version is still $499. The 32gb is still $599. Yes, with discounts and rebates you are actually paying a lot less at the register, but the main price remains the same. HP knows that once the price is lowered, you can never raise it again. However, if the lower price is due to a temporary discount, then you can maintain your current price point while still spurring sales.
    This practice also can be an asset to consumers that use warranty services like SquareTrade or Credit Card warranty extensions. Those services, if unable to repair your device will pay you current market value for the device to replace it. In many cases that value is the current MSRP at the time of replacement, not your original purchase price.


    Also, about the faster processor in the 4G. Have we been told yet the exact processor model? Because hasn't it been found that the current TouchPad processor actually has a specced tolerance to be officially run at 1.5GHz?
    Last edited by Orion Antares; 08/04/2011 at 11:25 AM.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by cthetford View Post

    And in 1984 they were on a roll in the PC market... then they were quickly eclipsed by the PC clone market and relegated to a niche player.. who's to say that won't happen here?
    The same will definitely happen again. Apple has not changed.

    Apple is great at being first out of the gate. History has taught us that they will not be able to maintain the lead even in a market they created.
    They lost share in that market because of their insistence on controlling everything.

    2 years ago most thought Android handsets had no chance.
    2 years from now, HP will have accomplished with WebOs, what Google did with Android. And once the whole Root/Jailbreak/Dev community gets wind of how easy it is to get going with WebOs Homebrew and development in general, the tide will turn in HP's favor.
    Rnp, lukehale, hparsons and 4 others like this.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Orion Antares View Post
    ...
    Also, about the faster processor in the 4G. Have we been told yet the exact processor model? Because hasn't it been found that the current TouchPad processor actually has a specced tolerance to be officially run at 1.5GHz?
    My understanding is that it's exactly the same processor, but from batches that have been certified to run at 1.5
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by mistaox View Post
    The same will definitely happen again. Apple has not changed.

    Apple is great at being first out of the gate. History has taught us that they will not be able to maintain the lead even in a market they created.
    They lost share in that market because of their insistence on controlling everything.

    2 years ago most thought Android handsets had no chance.
    2 years from now, HP will have accomplished with WebOs, what Google did with Android. And once the whole Root/Jailbreak/Dev community gets wind of how easy it is to get going with WebOs Homebrew and development in general, the tide will turn in HP's favor.
    I like your thought process, not sure I completely share your level of optimism, but it's refreshing to read on here!
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by ruefrak View Post
    HP and Apple have two different approaches to their seemingly similar offerings. Neither way is the "right" way, they're just different, but it seems like a lot of people are approaching it as though Apple's is the right way and HP is wrong for not following it.
    I agree with your statement.

    Let market decide and we shall see some numbers soon.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    My understanding is that it's exactly the same processor, but from batches that have been certified to run at 1.5
    It is exactly the same processor, it just has the cellular radio and GPS support. And will have a kernel clocked at 1.5 on release, 1.5 is the highest qualcomm rates this processor for, as you will see.

    This thread has the specs from qualcomm and link to their pdf.
    http://forums.precentral.net/hp-touc...-comments.html
    I love physical keyboards... but there is two devices that would make me consider a slab, one is something running a full version of Open webOS. The other is an iPhone!!!! HA HA just kidding (about the iPhone that is)...
    fxspec06 likes this.
  19. #19  
    that is why I am running at 1.728GHz and no tablet, not even iFad can touch this beast.
    16 Candles, The Breakfast Club SB, Friday SB, App Catalog Fix, Palm Pre/Pixi - USB Modem, TMC Workaround, SCRIM Changing OTF

    The fastest way to install Preware on your WebOS device.
    Put your device in Developer mode.
    From your PC download the Preware installer from http://get.preware.org
    Run the Preware installer while the WebOS device is connected with the USB cable to your PC.
    Vualla Preware is installed.]
  20. #20  
    You know what, actually this makes a lot of sense. I was a little annoyed at Rubinstein for just saying "because we can", but it does in fact make sense when you see it as "the HP way". If you think about it, no one works themselves into such an uproar over PCs improving specs. It's something about smartphones and the product cycle set in place by Apple (and by individual Android manufacturers to some extent) that caused people to assume HP would do the same.

    I can see why Josh Topolsky would ask that question now, and why Rubinstein gave the response he did.

    The prices arguments also makes sense. HP is pricing this as any other computer, not as a tablet like every other manufacturer. This is how HP sells, not a sign that HP is in panic mode as Precentral commenters would have you believe.

    I have to say this is one of the most sensible posts I've read here in a long time, yet you only have 3 posts...


    Quote Originally Posted by ijip View Post
    one thing HP needs to do is get out new innovative products by q4 this year... Once rimm gets its new os out things will get very very tough for webos...
    Ehh... I'm not so sure about this. HP probably doesn't worry about a company that had to slash its workforce by 11%. Also, it got its new OS this year in the Playbook, and that wasn't enough to prevent the layoffs.
    Last edited by rsanchez1; 08/04/2011 at 11:02 PM.
    JED-WEB-OS likes this.
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