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  1.    #1  
    Whoever the naysayers are that still think HP’s move was “idiotic” and “stupid” need to open your eyes. HP’s move here was significant and utter genius. Be prepared for a long analysis of Apple’s strategies and why I believe HP made a brilliant move:

    Over the past few years, Apple has accomplished something significant. They have eliminated the notion of the Apple Tax with their mobile devices. We all know what the Apple Tax is. It is paying a significant amount more money for lesser or equal specced hardware while receiving a product that is better built (physically), and has a more crisp, fluid, intuitive and user-friendly user interface. It was meant as the PC for the average person (that can afford it), not the power user. In terms of PCs/laptops, Apple found their niche (and a growing one at that). People who could afford the Apple Tax while getting less “bang” for their buck but a better overall user experience.

    And that’s where PC makers like HP, Dell, Toshiba, etc. made their niche and became the biggest tech companies in the world. They took advantage of the Apple Tax. They provided their product with an inferior (again for the AVERAGE user, not power user) but perfectly capable Windows OS. But the devices came with features galore. These machines were specced out with the best hardware; fastest processors, most RAM, HDMI out, touch screens, bluray drives, SD card slots, etc. And these machines diluted the market. Every single manufacturer had (and has) different model lines, from entry level to flagship. And all of this at a significantly lower price. More bang and more devices for LESS buck with a capable OS. Less buck being the key strategy here.

    But this all changed with the iPhone, although not initially. Apple learned fast that the mobile landscape is much different than the laptop/PC landscape. While the Apple Tax obtained their desired niche with the laptop/desktop industry (though see lessons learned below), the mobile device industry is completely different. They released the iPhone for $500/$600 to a shocked public stating that you "had to be a millionaire to afford an iPhone". They realized that no one wanted to pay that much for a phone. No matter how good the phone experience was, people weren’t going to buy it. And two months later, sure enough Apple dropped the price to $400. However, this was still twice the price of the competitors. The Apple Tax was still in full effect; people were paying twice as much but for a lesser or equally specced hardware while receiving a product that is better built (physically), and has a more crisp, fluid, intuitive and user-friendly user interface (I’m going to repeat this a lot). No doubt the iPhone was successful, but the competitors were not really feeling it that much. EXTREMELY inferior products were released to market and actually did very well (think LG Voyager, HTC Touch). Pricing (read: Apple Tax), lack of 3G (lesser hardware) and exclusivity to AT&T were the original iPhone's biggest downfalls (for lack of a better word).

    It all changed with the release of the subsidized iPhone 3G, with a $199 entry price. People LINED up for this device. I believe this is the first phone ever released that I had seen lines for. Even though the world knew this was coming, the competitors did not seem to react. The 3G’s biggest competitors around that time: HTC Diamond, HTC Touch Pro, HTC Samsung Instinct, Samsung Omnia, Sony Xperia 1, Blackberry Bold, Blackberry Storm, Palm Treo 800/Pro (yay Palm!). They were ALL priced at $200 or more. And the iPhone 3G crushed them. Why? Was it better specced hardware? No, the competitors all offered better specced hardware with various features that were intuitive for the time. Some included SD card slots, removable batteries, HDMI out, cameras with high megapixels (at the time), front facing cameras (Omnia overseas), more RAM, etc. The issue was that it was more (hardware) bang for the SAME buck now. No Apple Tax. It proved that the average consumer could care less about “specs” and “features” in the phone industry. So people flocked towards the device that had better build quality, and had a more crisp, fluid, intuitive and user-friendly user interface. To spell it out; the phone’s OS shined. People raved about multitouch, a usable touchscreen keyboard without the need for a stylus, an extremely usable browser (finally), easy to setup email (no need for incoming/outgoing mail servers confusion), easy integration with iTunes, an amazing media player, the introduction of the AMAZING APP store concept, and a ton of other great software features. But at this point, for the first time ever, the Apple OS ecosystem was offered at the same (or lower) price than it’s competitors. And all competition fell victim to the 3G's warpath. Windows Mobile was destroyed, Symbian was destroyed, Blackberry OS was destroyed, Palm OS was already destroyed, and yes, even WebOS was destroyed. The Apple Tax was eliminated.

    And this dominance continues to this day, but there is one OS that has caught up to the iPhone. And that’s Android. Why has Droid caught up? Yes, the OS is pretty good; but definitely not to the level of iOS. There are apps for it. A bunch. There is multitouch. There is a usable browser. The OS is extremely usable. It is the new Windows for mobile OSes. But if software was the only reason Droid caught up, there then WebOS would have caught up too. I think we are all in agreement that WebOS, as an OS by itself, is even miles ahead of Android (and arguably iOS at the time). There were 3 reasons why Droid caught up, and none of them were hardware:


    1. Usable current OS (as previously discussed)

    2. Market Dilution: Every manufacturer uses it. That allows for market dilution. Demand for the iPhone was high on Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, but the iPhone was unavailable. Droid capitalized by being released on all of these carriers (and AT&T) before the iPhone made it to it’s second carrier.

    3. Pricing: MOST importantly than market dilution was the fact of what market dilution allowed for. It allowed for different price points, again. Free phones, $50 phones, etc. were all released with this extremely usable OS. Sure there were flagship devices with all the bells and whistles, but the PC vs. Mac market schematic was again defined. A FREE phone with a usuable OS vs. the iPhone 3GS for $200. Well that is a significant price difference, especially in the phone market. That sounds like a REINSTATEMENT of the Apple Tax. Android had become the Windows of the mobile industry.

    Regardless though, Apple was (and is) learning again that the Apple Tax needed to go away. With the release of the iPhone 4, they had their flagship device in which they went head to head again the flagship Droids. Flagship Droids = better features by hardware, but Apple Tax was negated. Apple also kept the iPhone 3GS as an entry level model of $50. Again Apple Tax negated. They’re releasing more competitively priced laptops (read: well specced 2010 model Macbook Air for $999). Apple Tax negated.

    But they changed it all again when they released the iPad. The iPad came out with the entry level price of $500. Apple was praised for releasing it for such a lower price. Rumors of prices were from $400-$1000. $500 was like a dream come true for most though. An extremely low price for a tablet PC; the first of its kind. All with NO discernable Apple Tax.

    The competitors were all dumbfounded and had no idea how to handle this. They seemed to forget what made their PC markets so viable against the Mac: taking advantage of the Apple Tax. In fact, they did the exact opposite. The main competitors came out at either a equal or HIGHER price than the iPad. Sure there were some hardware features (stop me if these sound familiar) such as faster processors, more RAM, cameras, SD card slots, promises of 4G, removable batteries in some cases, usb ports – pretty much just like the phone market. But now you were getting more, as discussed before, irrelevant bang for either an equal or HIGHER price. Galaxy Tab - $400 on contract, $600 off contract. Motorola Xoom - $600 on contract, $800 off contract. Playbook – Entry level price of $500. HP Slate - $800. Galaxy Tab 10.1: ~$500. Sure there were some stragglers that came to the realization that they needed to lower the price (Asus - $400, Vizio - $300) but these are seen as the bottom of the barrel tablets. And sure, manufacturer's dropped the prices, but only to a level EQUAL to, or slightly lower, than the iPad. Still no Apple Tax.

    And while all of this is happening, the other competitors were also focusing on updating their software to match that of iOS rather than focusing on what really mattered: the price. And look at the preliminary results on both tablets and phones: Windows Phone 7 (failing), Android tablets (semi-failing), Palm OS (failed) WebOS on Palm phones (failed), Symbian (failed) Maemo (LOL!!), QNX on the Playbook (failing), Blackberry OS on phones (nose diving), Windows 7 on tablets (failing), Samsung Bada (LOL!! X 2), WebOS on HP phones (seemingly failed). All while the iPhone and the iPad are thriving. And that’s not to say that some of these OSes aren’t great. WebOS was (is) great. Windows Phone 7 has potential to be great. But the only real success has been Android on phones, as discussed above, based on market dilution and pricing. With all the negativity and failing tablet market besides the iPad, it seemed like it was game over.

    And then comes our beloved HP Touchpad. Where do we begin? The Touchpad went against everything that HP knew (and the industry knew) about competing with Apple. They followed the industry standard for tablets. They priced it exactly the same as the iPad 2; $500 entry level. Less bang for the same buck. WHAT WHERE THEY THINKING? Just like what was Motorola thinking with the Xoom and RIM with the Playbook, etc. They quickly realized the mistake, but it was too late (just like the rest). They tried some tactics to save face; reduced the price by $100 for a limited time sale (allusion to the public of a deal). No one took the bait. Than it was the permanent $100 price drop. Again same reaction. The tablet landscape is different than the mobile phone landscape. It’s somewhere in between that of the mobile phone and PC/laptop industries. $100 while semi-significant for a phone is not at all significant for a tablet (as Asus and Vizio are learning). The Apple Tax was still eliminated.

    However, the Touchpad was (nay, is) a great device. WebOS is an AMAZING OS. It’s just that NO ONE knew it except for the tiny WebOS community. However, something DRASTIC had to occur for any real success to happen or for the average consumer to take notice. And it had to occur fast for HP. Here’s where the brilliance came into play.

    The announcement. The state of WebOS devices; discontinued. The media spun the story as WebOS not being supported anymore. That was the message sent to the consumer base. WebOS is dead.

    But the Fire Sale was freaking GENIUS. Like game changing brilliant. But you can’t just have a fire sale for a “living product”. At least not to THIS extent. $100 for a tablet is unheard of, nonetheless a GREAT tablet. The crap tablets from Asus and Vizio still break $300.

    The fire sale has also proven (and is continuing to prove) a lot of things. For the right price, even a “DEAD” OS can be sold in millions. Imagine what an OS like Android (living and living well on phones; struggling on tablets) would do at the right price with a high quality manufacturer?

    The Touchpad is flying off shelves. Early adopters are being refunded and subsequently kept happy (I think this might be a first since the original iPhone…hmmm). Retailers are being refunded and kept happy (if HP was out of the consumer industry, why would they want to keep both retailers and early adopters THIS happy?). There’s LINES outside stores for the device (the last non-Apple phone/tablet that I’ve seen lines for was the Blackberry Storm). Stores like Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Staples, Office Depot, Radio Shack are all answering their phones with the message “Thanks for calling ______, we are sold out of the HP Touchpad”. There are signs up when you walk into stores saying “HP Touchpads are sold out”. There are news reports about the Touchpad. There is a FRENZY of people rushing into stores; crashing websites, all trying to get the Touchpad. There is word of mouth, friends telling friends and family about this great price for this great HP device. Overnight the Touchpad went from the flop among flops to the tablet on everyone’s mind. And what's that called? It's called advertising! And people know what WebOS is now. The same people that had no idea what WebOS was are talking about it. The fire sale changed the game for WebOS and tablets in general.

    And yes; part of it is people wanting to port Android to it. And yes; some of it is the allure that once it is sold out that the Touchpad will never exist again. And yes; part of it is people wanting to sell it for a profit on eBay. But MOST of it is that the average consumer finally has a (great) tablet that they can buy that not only reinstates the Apple Tax, but makes the Apple Tax look absolutely silly! 80% more for an iPad 2? 80%! That’s insane! That’s the highest Apple Tax ever.

    And you better believe that the resell market will dictate the true price at which people will actually buy tablets other than the iPad. Most Touchpads are selling on Ebay for $250-$350. People WANT the Touchpad for this price. Let’s average that out to $300; even $250 for the entry level price. That’s $250 less than the current iPad. A 50% difference. So the result of the fire sale was a market research experiment like no other. At what price point would the tablet need to be sold at to reinstate the Apple Tax perception? Well they have that answer now. $300; $250 to be safe. HP just rebaselined the price for all future tablets. Sure cost of manufacturing might have an effect on this; but a loss now for a future gain is what's needed in this industry. Eventually once the user base is big enough they can sneak the price up a bit more to where there is a profit from the sales ($350,etc.).

    And what else did they gain by it? Brand name recognition via advertising. Brilliant unconventional advertising. People know what the Touchpad is now; they know what WebOS is, and they generated a huge user base.

    Need more proof: Look at the situation for the Pre 3 in the UK. It is selling out like crazy. Again, part of it is the rumor mill of the $75 Pre 3 (as is already sold out in France and Germany). But that price point is apparently under serious reconsideration by HP. It’s possible that they sell it for less of a discount (wise) or no discount at all (unwise) due to the extreme demand. WebOS is out there!

    At this point; HP has definitely played all its cards right since 18Aug2011. To let WebOS go and die now would be silly. To license it would be sort of silly as well. To ride this momentum with continued support of current, in demand products, and releasing them at a new, rebaselined, Apple-Tax reinstated price point; well that’d be extremely smart. And it’d be extremely smart for other competitors to follow suit.

    We’ll see what happens. But regardless I can’t imagine WebOS is dead anymore. And I can’t imagine that someone at HP didn’t have this planned (we’ll never know; we can speculate all we want though). One thing I do know is that Apple must be ****ed that the Apple Tax is back; even if it’s only for a short period of time with this fire sale. Assuming competitors don’t learn their lesson, it might not be around for long. But as of typing this; the Apple Tax is back!
  2. gamblers4's Avatar
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    #2  
    VERY well said. All the apple fan-bois I know are talking about the HP Touchpad (although bashing it) but like you said, there is no such thing as bad advertising. I am so happy that WebOS is getting exposure and like you, I see it as a revival.

    Thanks for your thoughts and wise insight.
    Last edited by fingerwenger; 08/25/2011 at 02:43 AM.
  3. #3  
    3 points:

    1. That was a really long read.

    2. There's no doubt in my mind that you're going to get flamed for that.

    3. You struck some chords with me on that.
    Z Overlord likes this.
  4. #4  
    If you took the time to write it, I'll take the time to read it.
  5. #5  
    +1 on this one...Well done and thanks for taking the time to express what a lot of us are now thinking... .
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    ........JC.........

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  6. #6  
    If I was still at UNI i'd plagiarize the whole thing for my next assignment!! LOL
    HP200LX->Treo270->Treo600->Treo650->Treo680->Centro->iPhone3G->
    Treo680->TreoPro->iPhone3GS->PalmPre->HPPre2->HPVeer 2.2.3->HPPre3

    iowahawk19 and Z Overlord like this.
  7. #7  
    nice write up! I don't think the asus and vizio tablets are crap though.. They are made fairly well! They're made up of aluminum and glass, and remained very thin!

    I don't think WP7 has "potential" anymore. Potential to me is a promise on what the OS COULD be. come Mango, it will be. With an active app store inching in on the 25k mark, it's one of the FASTEST growing app markets available!

    I have to say, I believe WP7 (metro OS) is the only OS that employs iOS-like speed and "smoothness" while maintaining a really slick interface.

    If only palm got their OS to be iOS/WP7 slick/smooth... they should be able to, since they control the hardware as well too!
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by maduhbee View Post
    ........If only palm got their OS to be iOS/WP7 slick/smooth... they should HAVE BEEN able to, since they controled the hardware as well too!
    Fixed that
    HP200LX->Treo270->Treo600->Treo650->Treo680->Centro->iPhone3G->
    Treo680->TreoPro->iPhone3GS->PalmPre->HPPre2->HPVeer 2.2.3->HPPre3

  9. #9  
    There's a slight problem to you theory that a new baseline price has been set for all tablets now, excluding the iPad naturally. The manufacturers of for instance Google tablets can not, will not and shouldn't price their tablets at that low a price.

    First of all, the profit off these tablets, IF they sell, would be too small for any company to even bother creating them in the first place. It doesn't matter that they can. They won't. Ever.

    I found out yesterday that the lovely large cheeseburger you're selling currently for $5 actually only cost you 75 cents to make. I feel it's entirely fair you sell it to me for $1. No you say? Why is that? Oh right, you're not a moron, that's why.

    Even the crappiest tablets out there, which run horribly, with inferior tech, inferior screens, inferior performance and on and on are priced at about $250. You can theorize and use wishful thinking all you like but there's not a snowballs chance in hell it will ever happen. Outside a firesale if someone is going out of the business of course.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by maduhbee View Post
    nice write up! I don't think the asus and vizio tablets are crap though.. They are made fairly well! They're made up of aluminum and glass, and remained very thin!

    I don't think WP7 has "potential" anymore. Potential to me is a promise on what the OS COULD be. come Mango, it will be. With an active app store inching in on the 25k mark, it's one of the FASTEST growing app markets available!

    I have to say, I believe WP7 (metro OS) is the only OS that employs iOS-like speed and "smoothness" while maintaining a really slick interface.

    If only palm got their OS to be iOS/WP7 slick/smooth... they should be able to, since they control the hardware as well too!
    Too late in my opinion. This is a two system market now, iOS and Android. It always has been if you think about it too.

    Even if WP7 did turn out decent, there's also the strong anti-Microsoft sentiment these days.
  11. cgk
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    Sorry your whole analysis is flawed and exists in a vacuum outside of the organisational politics of HP. You've simply performed an analysis of the product without any proper context - this is the context - HP's current CEO doesn't care - he doesn't want to be in the consumer software business - PERIOD. WebOS and all that is simply a very small side-game in the larger picture of what to do with the PSG, that's all it is.

    This isn't some sneaky crafty marketing plan, it's what it appears to be - they simply could not sell the devices at the prices they need to sell them at to generate the sort of high margins that Apple enjoys - and if they can't do that, then they aren't interested.

    Your plan is one that has HP supporting devices at a loss over a period of time with the idea that eventually they will be able to put the prices up as the user-base increases. This is many multiples of risk higher than the recent $100 price-cut that didn't work - look at Leo A's history, he is risk aversive and is not going to go for this.

    And I can’t imagine that someone at HP didn’t have this planned.
    As someone else said on another thread, this isn't Scooby-Doo, Leo isn't going to pull off a mask and reveal he was the caretaker all along and shows a lack of understanding of how organisations work and the legal constraints they operate under.

    Moreover, this is fantasy for one very simple reason - serious jail-time. It's one thing for HP to kill the devices and *then* maybe change their minds in the future because of a changing market - that's acceptable practice. However, if any evidence came to light that this was planned (which it isn't), Leo and all of the execs involved would likely face serious jail time because of his clear statement in the earnings call about what they were doing. You can't 'pretend' in that way when you make statements to the market.
    Last edited by CGK; 08/25/2011 at 03:45 AM.
  12. Pronk's Avatar
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    #12  
    OP, I admire your dedication, but sorry man - that's deluded. It's a fire sale, not a marketing plan. The touchpad OS is still buggy and needs tweaking to get working properly (something that a lot of users won't do). Build quality isn't that great. And - for now - webOS is a dead-end system that only had a niche of a niche of the market anyway. Unless someone buys is very quickly and starts churning out decent hardware and software updates, it *will* die out - pop over to the WP7 forums and see how many webOS users are switching over already if you don't believe me. And android caught up because the OS is free and Google make their money from search. Now they own Motorola, well things may be different (and there are already rumblings of manufacturers looking elsewhere - this being the one TINY glimmer of hope that webOS might have if one of the other android OEMs thinks having their own OS might be a good business plan). But that's why it's where it is now - because manufacturers can just make hardware and the OS work is done for them.

    People like a bargain for something they can use for a while. It's as simple as that. People buy iPads because they'll get years of use from them in a robust ecosystem. Where HP failed was trying to sell the expensive product without the ecosystem. the Touchpad is selling now and being talked about because of the price and no other reason. Not webOS. It's a flop. It still is a flop. It won't stop being a flop because once the stocks are gone there won't be any more. HP are getting out of the hardware game.

    Oh, and "It is paying a significant amount more money for lesser or equal specced hardware while receiving a product that is better built (physically), and has a more crisp, fluid, intuitive and user-friendly user interface." - Having something well built with an excellent user interface isn't a tax. It's called paying for what you get. The "tax" was what other people who bought other, cheaper systems paid in time and effort to get what they bought to do what other products (and not just Apple here - for example, this equally applies to cheapo Android handsets/tablets compared to top-end kit) do by default.

    As I say, kudos for keeping the faith, but the happy ending isn't coming. This *is* the ending - enjoy your cheap hardware while you can, but be ready to move on.
  13. #13  
    Nice article long as well but worth to read.
    I was thinking about the same about this "fire sale" as a marketing move, but i'm now serious dough it...
    Anyway a wish that HP comes in some days or weeks with something like:
    "Ok, seams that we can't find good partners for building the next gen of WebOS devices, here it is a brand new one from HP, $290 entry level device, $390 a better one"
    I bet with everyone that would shock many people and it turns once again into a media buzz!
  14. cgk
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    I was thinking about the same about this "fire sale" as a marketing move, but i'm now serious dough it...
    Because of Sarbanes–Oxley and similar changes, it would be straight forward criminal conduct - you simply cannot mislead the markets by saying you are discontinuing a product line when really you are trying to run a crafty marketing scheme.

    Anyone one here see Léo Apotheker risking jail time, the sack and complete and utter disgrace for such a whacked out scheme?

    "Ok, seams that we can't find good partners for building the next gen of WebOS devices, here it is a brand new one from HP, $290 entry level device, $390 a better one"
    Highly unlikely but at least legal!
    sinsin07 and mrplow#WN like this.
  15. #15  
    This sounds *EXACTLY* like HP's printer strategy -- sell the printers cheap, make money off the consumables.

    I'm inclined to believe this is a great marketing move as well. It's not like HP isn't making money OFF your already-paid-for TouchPad now.. they still get a cut from app sales, right? And once they've saturated the market with webOS devices.. when their ecosystem really comes out, that same firesale market would just go gaga over these new devices.. "A webOS TV? Sweet!" "OMFG webOS on a toaster!" etc. etc.

    What webOS really needs now is recognition and exposure. And that's what they got.

    "Top executives did not KNOW at least a day/week before this big decision."

    "...HP to stop producing webOS devices.."

    "..BestBuy still has 200,000 units unsold.."

    These stories came one after the other, like pieces on a chessboard. Maybe we're reading too much into it, maybe we're not.

    Only time will tell. And as HP's is wont to do, we'll find out any day now.

    Oh, and as for the firesale being criminal because they misled people? HP can always say that, DUE TO THE RECENT TURNAROUND IN MARKET DEMAND, we will CONTINUE TO PRODUCE webOS DEVICES AFTER ALL.

    Dun dun dun duuunNNNNNnNNNNN! *zoiks!*
  16. cgk
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    Oh, and as for the firesale being criminal because they misled people? HP can always say that, DUE TO THE RECENT TURNAROUND IN MARKET DEMAND, we will CONTINUE TO PRODUCE webOS DEVICES AFTER ALL.
    You can mislead people as much as you like, you can't mislead the markets which is a slightly different thing - the firesale is not the problem, it's the statements in the earning call and their quarterly documents.

    It's just too silly to even get into, this idea of a secret marketing plan, it requires criminal conspiracy involved the CEO (because ultimately he's the one who pulls the plug) and while Leo might be a lot of things, he's not a crook.
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    #17  
    1. There are no consumables here like printer cartridges. The app market is too small to make HP any meaningful amount of money (which is why developers aren't flocking to the platform).
    2. webOS got exposure, sure - but it's mostly bad because HP are dumping it.
    3. HP are making a massive loss on the hardware at these prices - this is about drawing a line, not about kickstarting a moneyspinner.
    4. Anyone who thinks this is anything more than a company pulling out of a market absolutely *is* reading too much into it.

    HP is run by grey suits now interested in corporate customers, not laser-sharp consumer-focused radicals like Steve Jobs (and even for Steve Jobs, this sort of stunt - if it were a stunt - would be well over the top into crazy territory). They're stopping a non-profitable business line, cutting their losses, clearing inventory, and preparing to move on to where the money is. The veer got lacklustre reviews and sales, and died. Touchpad was rushed out before it was fully cooked, got lacklustre reviews and sales, and died. The Pre3 was too little too late and they didn't even get round to properly selling it at all. There is no bonkers A-Team style masterplan. There is no secret webOS saviour product waiting in the wings at HP. There will not be enough webOS products in the market even when existing inventory is cleared out to even get close to saturation, and to make more would require manufacturing be restarted and the original price point of the products restored because they are not economical to produce and sell at the massive loss level of the firesale prices.

    Unexciting, dull, businesslike ahead of emotion, a shame for webOS as it never really got the hardware and support to realise its full potential - but 99.99% guaranteed the truth.
    Sapient2k7 and TechFan#WN like this.
  18.    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by neller2000 View Post
    There's a slight problem to you theory that a new baseline price has been set for all tablets now, excluding the iPad naturally. The manufacturers of for instance Google tablets can not, will not and shouldn't price their tablets at that low a price.

    First of all, the profit off these tablets, IF they sell, would be too small for any company to even bother creating them in the first place. It doesn't matter that they can. They won't. Ever.

    I found out yesterday that the lovely large cheeseburger you're selling currently for $5 actually only cost you 75 cents to make. I feel it's entirely fair you sell it to me for $1. No you say? Why is that? Oh right, you're not a moron, that's why.

    Even the crappiest tablets out there, which run horribly, with inferior tech, inferior screens, inferior performance and on and on are priced at about $250. You can theorize and use wishful thinking all you like but there's not a snowballs chance in hell it will ever happen. Outside a firesale if someone is going out of the business of course.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with this one: First of all, the profit off these tablets, IF they sell, would be too small for any company to even bother creating them in the first place. It doesn't matter that they can. They won't. Ever.

    If you can't play in the new game then don't produce anymore. If you don't control the end to end user experience (hardware, profits off of apps, official accessories, something that you an turn a profit on) then GET OUT NOW. Cause a Motorola Xoom will not sell or entice anyone to buy it at a price that is equal to the iPad. Apple has made it's ecosystem too strong right now.

    To justify the same price right now as the iPad you have INNOVATE. There needs to be something that you tablet does SO AWESOMELY that people will pick it over the iPad. Now I don't know what it is; and obviously these companies don't know what it is. I can tell you thought that I DO know what it's NOT. It's not an SD card slot, it's not a 4G radio, it's not a removable battery, it's definitely not a quad core processor or tons of RAM, it's not a full size USB port, it's not built in HDMI out, it's not better cameras on both ends, and it's not contract pricing. That's what it's not.

    So if you aren't going to innovate and you aren't/can't reduce your price then GET OUT OF THE GAME. You've already lost. Look at the Galaxy 10.1. Nice looking tablet. Great features. Now comes as an "freebie" when buying a TV at Best Buy. Hmmmmmm. You'll NEVER see an iPad for free when buying a TV. Obviously there's a problem here that's bigger than WebOS/HP.

    If you can change your price on the hardware, and make money on other aspects (as said before, app sales, accessories, etc.) while building your ecosystem, well then you have a fighting chance.
    TechFan#WN likes this.
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    It's just too silly to even get into, this idea of a secret marketing plan, it requires criminal conspiracy involved the CEO (because ultimately he's the one who pulls the plug).
    Oh yeah, cause THAT's never happened before . There are a lot of things behind closed doors that happen that only a handful of people in a company know.
  20. Pronk's Avatar
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    Y'see, the thing with criminal conspiracies is, they don't usually run them in full view of the public and the media...
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