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  1.    #1  
    Been some very interesting articles on the upcoming Amazon Tablet. Most of them are specualting that the device will be sold under $300 and likely more like $249 with a rebate coupon.

    At that price they say Amazon will actually lose money on each device, but will more than make up for it from sales of accessories and apps in their cataloge, music and video sales and so on.

    Many of these articles talk about the firesale of the TP but also note that there was a surge in sales when the price was dropped to 299. They pretty much state the obvious (to us): you cant compete with the I-pad at the I-pad's price. One article noted that there was no way HP would be able to sell a laptop with lower specs then the mac air at the same price as the mac air -- if the price was the same people will buy the mac -- so why did they think that they could sell TPs at the same price as the Ipad?

    The tone of the articles is pretty much that with the HP experiance, the price for competing with the Ipad is now clear: $249 or so for you lower end version, $299 at the top end. More than that and most people will buy the Ipad. HP, accoording to these articles, has "set the price" for future attempts to sell tablets. One article i saw pointed out that the ebay and craiglist prices for the TP pretty much show that this is the correct price point for a non Ipad tablet.

    While we all rightly blame Leo for most of this mess, I note that this whole "not understanding or accepting the Apple situation" is a problem for a lot of companies. A whole bunch tried to sell music players to compete with the ipod, often pricing them (at first) pretty much the same. Even those that actually had more or better features failed and the companies could never seem to figure out why. One big survey I saw was that a full 100% of those polled said that, if they had a choice of any music player, they would want an i-pad. The execs from other companies rejected that survey at first, they couldnt believe it was 100%, but turned out to be true.

    Today of course we see it in the tablets where company after company tried to push tablets at prices at or near the I-pad all to fail in denting the market share much.

    Even old Palm had the same issue. Remember when the Pre first came out and the question was asked if it would sell for less than the I-phone, the response was an insulted harrumph as to why should the Pre sell for less when it does more? The execs just didnt get it then and many dont get it now.

    For better or worse, many people are willing to pay a premium on Apple products and, unless you blow them away on specs or price, will choose the fruit.

    Of course the sad thing for webOs is that, had HP realized this and priced the TP correctly at the start, it could have been a huge hit. Ture HP would not have made much of this first gen PT, but it could have been the start of their whole ecosystem thing that would have led to big profits later on from all the printers, dual-boot computers, toasters and the like as well as, perphaps, a higher margin TP-2 next time around after people are hooked into webOS.
    Last edited by midmofan; 08/30/2011 at 01:46 PM.
  2. fury's Avatar
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    I think it was more about HP's lackluster execution in general that doomed the Touchpad. In this day and age, you just can't go around announcing products that don't come out until 5+ months later. The buzz dies down, and what's more, you've just informed your competitors what they have to do to match you. It's almost like folding two aces before you even see the flop.

    Apple got away with the long delay once and only once with the original iPhone, and it was because it was such a radically different design that nobody had any chance to play catch-up in the 6 months between announcement and release.

    With the bar sufficiently raised on the next release, Apple began moving to a more agile announce->release schedule, and that's exactly what you have to do to have a chance to compete now. Announcing in February for release in "some time this fall" gave the world, including Apple, enough time to release their products and steal the thunder, as well as see exactly what innovations HP had in store and compete with them. Touch to share is just about the only thing I haven't seen in any other tablet, and if that feature were announced with a subsequent rapid release, that might have been a key feature. Then again, it depends on the user having a Pre 3 in order to have anything to touch to it.

    The entire lineup of 3rd-gen webOS devices should have been released at once, and much closer to announcement than several months. That might have given it a fighting chance. Well, that, and more apps, better marketing, better build quality(?).

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