Touchpad ▪ August 30, 2011

You surely recall how computer maker Hewlett-Packard announced earlier this month it would exit the low-margin PC business, stop selling smartphones and tablets and sell out or license the webOS operating business. Well, less than two weeks later HP’s PC chief Todd Bradley tells Reuters that the TouchPad could make a come back:

Bradley said the company could resurrect HP’s short-lived TouchPad tablet computer, which was introduced on July 1 before being terminated only about six weeks later. ‘Tablet computing is a segment of the market that’s relevant, absolutely,’ Bradley said.

We’re not sure quite what to think of it. Was the whole “we’re killing the TouchPad” thing just a marketing ploy? Perhaps the news that Samsung wants to become the next HP and whispers that they are “considering purchasing webOS” prompted top dogs at Hewlett-Packard to second-guess CEO’s decision to focus on software and services instead on cool gadgets? Why else would Bradley tell Reuters that selling the PC division to a rival like Acer or Lenovo is “not a desirable alternative”?

Perhaps as interesting, HP claims to plan on building more TouchPads, they reported today.

Is $99 the new $499?  Well, no.  A tier one company can’t make anything close to the TouchPad and hope to break even at $99 yet.   But if anything, the $499 TouchPad that was plagued with a sell-through rate of just ten percent versus the $99 TouchPad that is seemingly flying off the shelves reinforces the notion that price matters in this game – perhaps more than any other feature. Consumers clearly appreciated iPad’s aggressive $499 price point. For a gadget you could do without in your life, price remains the crucial factor. For example…

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Touchpad ▪ August 22, 2011


The Apple Store dropped its price on the factory-refurbished, 1st-generation Apple iPad 16GB Wi-Fi (pictured), model no. MB292LL/A, to $299 with free shipping. That’s $30 under our June mention and is $184 under the lowest total price we could find for a new one. (It’s also the lowest we’ve ever seen for any iPad.) This 0.5″-thick tablet weighs 1.5 lbs. and features an Apple A4 1GHz processor, 9.7″ 1024×768 LCD touchscreen display, 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, accelerometer, compass, up to 10 hours of battery life, and more.

Also available is the factory-refurbished, 1st-generation Apple iPad 32GB Wi-Fi, model no. MB293LL/A, for $399. That’s another price-low, this time by $121. Both units carry a 1-year Apple warranty, the same as new units.

We also briefly saw a 32GB iPad for $299 at Cowboom this morning. Does all of this have anything to do with the TouchPad $99 nuttieness from the weekend? Unlikely.

Update: 16GB just went out of stock. Cowboom has 32GB for $299 on and off.
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Touchpad ▪ August 19, 2011

Hewlett-Packard engineers did dare pull unthinkable: They hacked iPad to install webOS only to find out Apple’s hardware runs their mobile operating system more than twice as fast compared to their own TouchPad hardware, a source “close to the subject” told The Next Web. The finding had devastating effects on the team’s morale:

The hardware reportedly stopped the team from innovating beyond certain points because it was slow and imposed constraints, which was highlighted when webOS was loaded on to Apple’s iPad device and found to run the platform significantly faster than the device for which it was originally developed.

It should be pointed out that webOS  runs on Qualcomm ARM chips while iPad 2 runs on Samsung silicon. This little nugget is even more revealing:

With a focus on web technologies, webOS could be deployed in the iPad’s Mobile Safari browser as a web-app; this produced similar results, with it running many times faster in the browser than it did on the TouchPad.

In fact, the webOS team wanted HP’s TouchPad and Pre hardware “gone” even before the products hit the marketplace according to TNW.  With a hardware refresh a year off and similar issues with the Pre phones, this could have contributed to the decision to shutter the webOS and perhaps license it out to other companies (with better hardware).

In a separate report, TNW details how the news was broken to the webOS group within HP.

Almost everyone at HP found out about the death of the TouchPad and Pre hardware as the public did, in the press release. Only the top executives knew anything about this decision and even senior staff as high as Ari Jaaksi, the Vice President of webOS software, didn’t know about the shuttering of hardware before it happened.

After the press release came out, there was a company wide meeting filled with a bunch of ‘corporate speak’, in which staff were told that they were going to be in limbo for 3-4 weeks.

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Touchpad ▪ July 3, 2011

Touchpad ▪ June 1, 2011

So HP(alm)’s TouchPad is about as close to an iPad as you can get without giving Apple any money (exact same sized display/form factor, etc).  HP, beyond the original demo, hasn’t shown much about the product.  However, at Sandisk’s booth (who are supplying the Touchpad’s storage), they were giving out full demos:

I can’t imagine this demo will stay live long but enjoy it while you can and just wonder how it’s “Card-based” OS will compare to an iPad 2 running iOS 5. expand full story

Touchpad ▪ December 16, 2010

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