HP TouchPad Success Hangs on Apps

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)'s TouchPad is finally ready for prime time and will be debuting in a Wi-Fi only version on July 1 followed by a 3G variant for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) later this summer.

HP's head of mobility, Jon Rubinstein, showed off the webOS-powered tablet at Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)'s Uplinq conference in San Diego earlier this month, where he characterized the tablet market as overcrowded and said many of the tablets available today will fail. (See HP Open to 'Special' webOS Partners.)

They say
So what will stop the TouchPad from facing a similar fate of failure? AllThingsD, which got the lowdown on the tablet from HP CEO Léo Apotheker, believes the combination of the hardware and OS coupled with HP's multiple-device integration strategy could propel it to the front of the tablet pack. Reporter John Paczkowski does note, however, that its application and content ecosystem might need growing, something Rubinstein admitted at Uplinq. InformationWeek and GigaOm agree that the TouchPad needs some work on building up its apps, which number 6,000 to date. As Eric Zeman points out, the lack of apps was a kneecapper for the Android-based Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) Xoom, LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) G-Slate and BlackBerry 's PlayBook.

What's more, the Wi-Fi-only version of the device will retail for $499.99 for the 16GB model and $599.99 for the 32GB version, which is comparable to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad. Colin Dixon asks a valid question: "Without software, how will HP convince buyers to purchase a TouchPad, when a comparable tablet with a much more extensive software library is priced the same?"

We say
In all other respects, the TouchPad appears to be a viable competitor to the iPad with similar hardware specs and Qualcomm's speedy dual-core processor on board. The webOS software is also impressive, so HP's chances of success may hang on its ability to attract the developer community to build up the content experience. Rubinstein said HP will do this through "aggressive outreach" and by being the easiest OS to develop for.

Read more on the TouchPad below.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:02:34 PM
re: HP TouchPad Success Hangs on Apps

If you're going to use an HP TouchPad for work (mostly), you won't care that it doesn't have 20 trillion apps. You will care that it has the right apps for your job.

That's why I think HP (and RIM) have a very good chance to gain some considerable market share in the tablet universe. In many many situations, tablets just make more sense than laptops.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:02:25 PM
re: HP TouchPad Success Hangs on Apps

HP, like RIM, also has its strength in the enterprise working for it. And, it has been talking up an integrated strategy in which the content runs across all HP products, which could be cool if it works well in practice.

comtech3 12/5/2012 | 5:02:19 PM
re: HP TouchPad Success Hangs on Apps

Excuse the typos.It seems I am already floating on that cloud,and I am not smoking pot!

comtech3 12/5/2012 | 5:02:19 PM
re: HP TouchPad Success Hangs on Apps

In my history class, my professor showed me an exhibit from the year 2007.It was an ancient netbook made by Asus.My professor said that after the introduction of this miniature PC  on the scene, every body and their granma made one.The only company who did not jump on the copycat bandwagon was Apple because they knew this fad would be short-live,and they had a different answer up their sleeve........the Ipad! Now that the "pad" is out,every body and their second cousin is making one.Well,like mini skirts and afro hairdo, the pads and tablets will soon fade into oblivion,and well all will be floating on a cloud for all over digital needs.

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