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  1.    #1  
    Interesting read:
    http://m.zdnet.com/blog/btl/hps-touchpad-fire-sale-the-fallout/55594
  2. #2  
    Yeah other tablet manufactures have to be ****ed. Sales must have come to standstill while all the customers tried to get cheap touchpads. Now the value of a tablet not made by Apple has shrunk.
  3. cgk
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    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Superjudge View Post
    Yeah other tablet manufactures have to be ****ed. Sales must have come to standstill while all the customers tried to get cheap touchpads. Now the value of a tablet not made by Apple has shrunk.
    So Samsung and HTC who both make tablets are going to think "Wow thanks HP, you've just cost us sales - now let us pay you back by licensing WebOS?"

    And even if the conclusion of that article is correct (that tablet pricing except for the Ipad is now shot to pieces), that's even *less* reason to licence this because if the theory in that article is right, you have to now sell your tablets at a loss or at razor thin margins.

    Steve Jobs must be absolutely rubbing his hands with glee - HP has dropped poison into the well that everyone else was drinking from.
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  4. #4  
    This will be a short-term impact the importance of which is being seriously overestimated. The real question is: how many of these TouchPad purchasers were not going to buy ANY tablet at current prices ($399 and up), but were glad to buy ANY tablet at $99/$149? Then, how many were right on the fence about buying at TouchPad specifically, but $399 was just too much?

    I think most people understand that this was a crazy fire sale, and indeed I'll bet that 99% of those who bought a TouchPad this weekend read about the HP situation and knew exactly what was going on. I'd wager only a relative handful of people who specifically went looking for ANOTHER tablet this weekend ended up getting a TouchPad.

    No, sorry: this was a feeding frenzy of *******. Nothing more and nothing less.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
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  5. #5  
    Short term this is surely a hit to other Tablet sales - even IPads.

    But the fact that HP can sell very quickly at $99/149 doesn't mean that this is the max or even close to any price point.

    It's just a crazy low price. Also quite a bit of that was bought up by opportunistic dealers who now make some quick bucks selling TPs at 150-300 $ on Ebay (I've been following TP prices on ebay.de the last few days and they still go easily > 300 Euros).

    Also the HP webos fiasco tells us almost nothing about webos or the Tablet market because this was about incompetence and a Grand New Strategy (HP is getting rid of almost all consumer hardware after all).

    HP couldn't make a success out of webos because they gave up trying to be in the consumer business.
    Pre -> Pre3 & TP32 -> Nexus 5
  6. cgk
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post
    This will be a short-term impact the importance of which is being seriously overestimated. The real question is: how many of these TouchPad purchasers were not going to buy ANY tablet at current prices ($399 and up), but were glad to buy ANY tablet at $99/$149? Then, how many were right on the fence about buying at TouchPad specifically, but $399 was just too much?
    The other thing that people miss is that it is now impossible to work out the value of a WebOS customer - rational pricing allows you to build a profile of your consumers and work how much they are worth to you. How do you license an OS where it is now impossible to work out who actually gives a crap and how many are simply too cheap to buy a tablet at a realistic price.

    I have three Touchpads lined up but I have absolutely no interest in buying a tablet, how many are the same? I'd *guess* a lot but who can say and how can any sensible company take a punt on developing hardware when they have no way of now assessing the risk.
  7. #7  
    Its going to be interesting to see what the landscape looks like once the smoke clears here. Personally I had no interest in buying a tablet at all until I saw that I could get one for 99 bucks. If the bill of parts that has been floating around is accurate HP and the retailers are selling these things at a loss of a couple hundred bucks each just in parts.
  8. #8  
    even though they didn't intend it, which is better:
    1. spend $20 million on a swanky ad campaign which if you're the original palm.com it backfired

    2. sell these kind of cheap touchpads which gets the word out - what better way than to have ppl try it - even if it is at a loss, particularly since webOS' biggest problem was that people never heard of it and never gave it a try. I tried a google g-slate yesterday and was wishing I had the TP instead.

    these big companies will spend millions on ad campaign - this may be the best ad campaign anyone has ever done. maybe we might see this sort of tactic (even though unintentional) in future kinds of sales of various products.
  9. cgk
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberprashant View Post
    even though they didn't intend it, which is better:
    1. spend $10 million on a swanky ad campaign which if you're the original palm.com it backfired

    2. sell these kind of cheap touchpads which gets the word out - what better way than to have ppl try it - even if it is at a loss, particularly since webOS' biggest problem was that people never heard of it and never gave it a try. I tried a google g-slate yesterday and was wishing I had the TP instead.

    these big companies will spend millions on ad campaign - this may be the best ad campaign anyone has ever done. maybe we might see this sort of tactic (even though unintentional) in future kinds of sales of various products.
    I'm sorry but this is just bonkers - this is a desperate desperate fire-sale, HP has now taught the consumer that the 'Real' price of WebOS hardware is $99 and had to take a $200 per unit loss to do that.

    There is a big difference between a $10 million ad campaign and taking a billion dollar bath on hardware. A marketing campaign also targets a specific consumer group or demographic, absolutely nobody is trying to target the "I'm too cheap to buy a tablet but will buy one anyway because it's only $99" group - well nobody sane.
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    So Samsung and HTC who both make tablets are going to think "Wow thanks HP, you've just cost us sales - now let us pay you back by licensing WebOS?"

    And even if the conclusion of that article is correct (that tablet pricing except for the Ipad is now shot to pieces), that's even *less* reason to licence this because if the theory in that article is right, you have to now sell your tablets at a loss or at razor thin margins.

    Steve Jobs must be absolutely rubbing his hands with glee - HP has dropped poison into the well that everyone else was drinking from.
    I don't think they would think that anyways. If they are going to licence webOS, it's because they think they can make money, not to do a favor to HP. There is obviously some concern about the Google/Motorola Mobile merger. It's not like their tablets are selling that great anyways. But you have to wonder when tablets are the same price as the iPad, they aren't selling. Even if they are a hundred cheaper, they still aren't rolling off the shelves. Pricing is an issue but demand is even a bigger issue. People just aren't sold on tablets yet.

    Apple has a huge advantage in the tablet market because the iPad and the iPhone share the same interface. There is a sense of integration there that doesn't exist on any other platforms and they are expanding that integration with iOS 5 and iCloud. That makes the tablet seem like an extension of your phone but more powerful. This is the stuff HP talked about with webOS but it probably won't happen now. Android is a mess with fragmentation. Honeycomb on your tablet, Gingerbread with HTC Sence on your phone. They aren't the same product. Of course there is the app situation too which is heavily in Apple's favor.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    I'm sorry but this is just bonkers - this is a desperate desperate fire-sale, HP has now taught the consumer that the 'Real' price of WebOS hardware is $99 and had to take a $200 per unit loss to do that.

    There is a big difference between a $10 million ad campaign and taking a billion dollar bath on hardware. A marketing campaign also targets a specific consumer group or demographic, absolutely nobody is trying to target the "I'm too cheap to buy a tablet but will buy one anyway because it's only $99" group - well nobody sane.

    Plus Im pretty sure had to put up a decent chunk of change for Russell Brand and Manny Pacquiao to hock these things, not to mention the viral campaigns on twitter, facebook and youtube.

    HP spent a lot of money marketing WebOS just for the general public to collectively shrug their shoulders.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post
    This will be a short-term impact the importance of which is being seriously overestimated. The real question is: how many of these TouchPad purchasers were not going to buy ANY tablet at current prices ($399 and up), but were glad to buy ANY tablet at $99/$149?
    I think you nailed it on both accounts. I was not going to buy ANY tablet at all, because I have absolutely no use for one. The only one I had considered owning (when the price came down) was the Lenovo Tablet which includes a digitizer for pen input and a USB-attachable keyboard.

    But a $150 Touchpad made me jump.

    And as soon as this stock of Touchpads dries up, which will be very soon, customers will have no longer have the option of buying a high-end tablet for $99/$150.
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  13. #13  
    First, what's amazing to me is that people read so much into this fire sale dynamic--doesn't everyone remember Black Friday? EVERY year on the day after Thanksgiving, tons of crappy, third-rate products are put on sale for ridiculously low prices to draw people into stores to kick off the holiday buying season. People line up in zero-degree weather overnight to grab these items just because they're priced so low--and, not even as low as the HP TouchPads at these fire sale prices. People will buy ANYTHING if it looks like a good enough "bargain."

    Second, HP is taking a charge of $100 million to get rid of TouchPad inventory. People, companies DO NOT spend $100 million on "advertising campaigns" that expressly and purposefully cheapen their products. Discounting by $100 a month after launch was bad enough--"discount" means to devalue something, and that's exactly what HP did when they permanently dropped the price to $399/$499. Imagine how badly webOS has been devalued by dropping them this low.

    No, HP did this to quickly get rid of the inventory and because otherwise every single TouchPad would have been returned by retailers. Which is easier for them--get them sold to SOMEBODY or take them back and have to dispose of them? Yes, there are a few more people to support (a relative handful overall), but HP is already on the hook to support existing webOS customers through their warranty period. So, it's not like they could just shut down the support infrastructure overnight.

    And, about this crazy "HP got rid of the product to show an upcoming licensee that they're getting out of hardware" theory. People, HP could have slowly let go of the inventory for much less than $100 million. They would have SIGNED A CONTRACT with the licensee agreeing not to sell competing hardware. They did NOT have to go to these lengths to demonstrate anything.

    In fact, it would have been MUCH better for HP to quietly let go of the existing inventory, because that would have shown the market that webOS remains viable and that it would someday be transitioned to new products by the new webOS manufacturer(s). The longer TouchPads and Pre 3 and whatever else stayed on the market, the better it would have been for the licensee.

    Grasping at straws is one thing. Believing fantasy scenarios is another.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
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  14. #14  
    NOTHING, and I do mean that word: NOTHING, that has happened over the past 4 days makes any sense, given public knowledge.

    That, in a nutshell, if a fact.

    So, while optimistic theories and rumors mght lave low credibility, so do the cynical ones as well.

    One thing is for sure:

    At this price point, there are a lot of new tablet users now, and some of them would never have bought a tablet, while others might have been saving for a more expsnive one, and, all of these new users are ALL WebOS users and consumers now.

    That' a good thing, for WebOS's possbilities for survival.
    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by LCGuy View Post
    NOTHING, and I do mean that word: NOTHING, that has happened over the past 4 days makes any sense, given public knowledge.

    That, in a nutshell, if a fact.

    So, while optimistic theories and rumors mght lave low credibility, so do the cynical ones as well.

    One thing is for sure:

    At this price point, there are a lot of new tablet users now, and some of them would never have bought a tablet, while others might have been saving for a more expsnive one, and, all of these new users are ALL WebOS users and consumers now.

    That' a good thing, for WebOS's possbilities for survival.
    Not necessarily there is a lot of buzz about an android port a lot of people bought these just to put android on it.
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    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by gfunkj View Post
    Not necessarily there is a lot of buzz about an android port a lot of people bought these just to put android on it.
    I doubt the vast majority of people buying are doing so to hack Android. That's still a niche kind of use. People overstate the hacking/patching desires of a community. Most people don't care, don't want to dig deep enough, and don't want to void their warranty. Certainly none of the people I saw in line this morning looked to be the Android hacker type (middle aged moms, verbal webOS enthusiasts, and some people just wondering what the line was for.)
  17. cgk
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post

    And, about this crazy "HP got rid of the product to show an upcoming licensee that they're getting out of hardware" theory. People, HP could have slowly let go of the inventory for much less than $100 million. They would have SIGNED A CONTRACT with the licensee agreeing not to sell competing hardware. They did NOT have to go to these lengths to demonstrate anything.

    In fact, it would have been MUCH better for HP to quietly let go of the existing inventory, because that would have shown the market that webOS remains viable and that it would someday be transitioned to new products by the new webOS manufacturer(s). The longer TouchPads and Pre 3 and whatever else stayed on the market, the better it would have been for the licensee.
    Right - if you are trying to licence out a product, you try and show that it's a going concern. I've also see this "show an upcoming licensee that they are not competiting" stuff as well - what licensee in their right mind would want HP to devalue any residual value that WebOS has by having a fire-sale?

    'hey guys on the way out, could you tank the brand equity by training consumers that webOS hardware is worth $99 and can be had in a firesale?"

    As you say, they would want the devices to stay on a realistic price and would have no problem with HP running down the stock over time.
  18. cgk
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by LCGuy View Post
    NOTHING, and I do mean that word: NOTHING, that has happened over the past 4 days makes any sense, given public knowledge.
    It actually makes perfect sense in a world where they already tried to licence it and nobody was interested. At that stage rather than continue to throw money down an open pit better just to take the hit and kill it off as quickly as possible.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    I'm sorry but this is just bonkers - this is a desperate desperate fire-sale, HP has now taught the consumer that the 'Real' price of WebOS hardware is $99 and had to take a $200 per unit loss to do that.

    There is a big difference between a $10 million ad campaign and taking a billion dollar bath on hardware. A marketing campaign also targets a specific consumer group or demographic, absolutely nobody is trying to target the "I'm too cheap to buy a tablet but will buy one anyway because it's only $99" group - well nobody sane.
    billion dollar bath????? getting rid of them all at this price point is only costing $100 million.....and that $100 million is a write off. sooooo....not even close to costing them a billion.

    second, they are selling on ebay for $250-300 for a 32gb. Thus, you can conclude, they COULD have sold TONS of the 32gb @ $299, only lost ~$35 per unit and made that up easily on accessories and apps within 6 months on each unit, most likely.
    @agentmock

    Audiovox SMT5600 (WM) --> Cingular 8125 (WM) --> Sprint Mogul 8525 (WM) --> Palm Pre (webOS)- --> Sprint Franken Pre2 (webOS) + 32gb Touchpad (webOS)
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    It actually makes perfect sense in a world where they already tried to licence it and nobody was interested. At that stage rather than continue to throw money down an open pit better just to take the hit and kill it off as quickly as possible.
    If that was true, then the logical next step was to gather up your WebOS team so that THEY could be prepared for the media experiencd about to happen, and for shareholder response (to help provide a sense of well thought out planning for this, instead of the arbitrary and last minute appearance this seems to have had), and work on notifying the carriers already on board, and the retailers to be prepared for this, and to staff up your own call center; THAT is pragmatic, logical and sound corporate behavior.

    None of that happened, and its all been documented - even the exectives at the top of WebOS were kept in the dark about this, and this fire sale, a day after.

    Additionally, by LA indicating that WebOS failed to perform as they expected, he literally and significantly cut the OS's market value, despite stating the possibilities of licensing, spinoff, etc, which thyey'd provide more detailes on "in the next 2 weeks".

    See, makes no sense.

    None of it...
    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

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