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What HP's TouchPad Fire Sale Teaches iPad Rivals 312

Posted by samzenpus
from the flood-the-market dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Christopher Williams writes that the success of HP's fire sale in unloading hundreds of thousands of TouchPads at heavily discounted prices may provide clues to other Apple competitors hoping to loosen the iPad's stranglehold on the tablet computing market. The main Google Android tablets, made by Samsung and Motorola, are pitched at around the same price point as the iPad but, put together with all the other Android tablets, it's estimated the iPad outsells them eight to one so 'the problem becomes circular: the user base is too small for app developers to invest in,' writes Williams, 'so users buy an iPad because there are more apps and the user base gets even smaller relative to Apple's.' According to Williams, Android tablet makers must find a way of breaking the cycle to avoid the TouchPad's fate. 'No doubt acutely aware of this is Amazon, which is rumored to be preparing to release an Android tablet this autumn,' writes Williams, adding that Amazon must price their 'iPad killer' at break-even or a loss to succeed. 'Its online retail empire and the Kindle brand mean Amazon has the marketing clout to take on the iPad, but on the evidence of HP's successful TouchPad sell off, the question is whether it has the courage to put its money on the line. '"
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What HP's TouchPad Fire Sale Teaches iPad Rivals

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:21PM (#37196814)

    Do they really need an in-depth analysis for something that bloody simple?

    Yeah sure, you can beat the iPad if you offer similar features and sell it for $100--no shit. How is that in ANY way analogous too offering your pad for $50-$100 cheaper than an iPad? Oooh, let's all run out an buy the Amazon maxiPad because it's $650 instead of the iPad's $700!! Unless you're prepared to absolutely bleed money on every maxiPad sale, you're not going to soak up even a single percentage point of the iPad's market dominance.

    • by poetmatt (793785) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:42PM (#37197160) Journal

      Absolutely. There is no tablet in the world worth over $200. That even includes the asus transformer 32GB with the dock. These devices are just not worth it - limited functionality for a premium? Of course it's not selling.

      • It clearly is worth it for millions of people; so that's not the reason that the HP tablet failed.

      • by narcc (412956)

        Absolutely. There is no tablet in the world worth over $200. That even includes the asus transformer 32GB with the dock. These devices are just not worth it - limited functionality for a premium? Of course it's not selling.

        I agree. Given even Apple's numbers, tablets aren't the revolution they've been made out to be. We've seen tons of tablets from various manufactures, some are both cheaper and better than Apples offering, yet they're not really selling in great quantity.

        I couldn't agree more.

        I expect one of two things to happen to the tablet market: 1) Prices will stabilize at around $200 for the high-end models $150 for the average, $75 on the low end and they'll become a common household item. 2) In a few years we'll h

    • Isn't that what they do with video game systems? Sell the unit at either cost, or a loss, and make up for it by a percentage of the games sold.. (or apps bought)

    • by ThorGod (456163)

      I agree. I loved playing with the iPad in the Apple Store...but I just can't pony up $500+ for it. Not when I could get a decent to good laptop for that price.

      Maybe the ipad makes more sense if you don't have a laptop or have some reason to not carry one around...

      • by Chrutil (732561) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:53PM (#37197318)

        Maybe the ipad makes more sense if you don't have a laptop or have some reason to not carry one around...

        Actually my iPad *is* my reason for not carrying my laptop around.

        • by fractalus (322043) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @06:26PM (#37197814) Homepage

          I've has my Galaxy Tab 10.1 for a couple of months. Before that I had a Nook Color that I rooted. I started with the NC because I wasn't sure if I would have a use for a tablet, and the NC was half the price of the Tab.

          There's no doubt these are primarily consumption devices; although they can be used for creation, that's not their strength and the more creative work you do on them the less fun it gets. What surprised me was just how much of my ordinary computer use was consumptive, and that now it's easier to squeeze in a bit of consumption here and there without resorting to a full computer. Instant on, super-long battery life, and an OS that's simplified make a huge difference.

          As much as I was surprised how much I now do on my Tab (so much so that my regular computer gets dusty), imagine what it's like for people that really do want a computer "appliance". Apple created an entire market of consumers out of people who previously weren't consumers: people who didn't want the hassle of [another] computer. This is part of the magic of the iPad, and why nearly 30 million have been sold. The TouchPad's demise doesn't tell us much about the tablet market overall except that the TouchPad wasn't what people wanted compared to an iPad. Android has similar market-share (and mind-share) problems, only differing in degree.

          Google should be throwing money at devs to write Android tablet apps if they want to catch up to Apple, our even just stay in the game. Otherwise they risk being marginalized, and if that happens on the tablet side it may leak over to the phone side.

      • by Tharsman (1364603)

        Problem is, that good $500 laptop may be made by HP, and they are going to stop making laptops!

        The ultra-cheap laptop is something we gotten used to, but truth be told: most of these are made like throw away toys and sold at extremely low profit margins hoping to sell so high volumes that it is worth your time. The introduction of the iPad has made too many stop buying laptops, enough to mess up with the low-profit-margin models and to force HP out of the race.

        HP's exit MAY leave room for other companies to

    • No, they don't need an in-depth analysis for that, duh.

      What they do need an in-depth analysis for is mainly answering two questions:

      1) Is there a way to make enough money off of other stuff to use the hardware as a loss-leader, and if so, how much of a loss-leader can they afford? In Amazon's case, perhaps they can afford to sell the hardware at a substantial discount--yes, perhaps even $99--if, for example, they have an iTunes-like store in which they can make gobs of money to cover the cost of manufactur

      • by tricorn (199664)

        I don't think a loss-leader hardware platform is going to work at this point, unless it's so cheap it's practically free ( $50), or the supplied software is absolutely fantastic and locked to the hardware.

        I don't think the touchpads would have flown off the shelves as fast if they couldn't have other software loaded on them. With no support from HP, no one is going to buy something with no support, no upgrades, no bug fixes, unless they're pretty confident they can put something else on it fairly easily.

        Gi

        • by s73v3r (963317)

          I don't think such a system would sell well at all, especially outside of the geek market. One of the reasons a lot of people like tablets is that they take a lot of the hard work out of computers. Need a new app? Go to the store, select and buy it, and the system takes care of the rest. No installing needed on your part. Same thing with OS updates. In most cases, they're either OTA or just need to be plugged into the computer. You don't actually have to do it.

          Compare it to if your idea takes off: Now the u

    • by Targon (17348)

      I think you missed the point. The key is breaking into the market in a big enough way to be seen as a viable alternative. If HP had planned the popularity of the Touchpad, just to get the public using WebOS, it would be seen as a brilliant move since many people who have tried the Touchpad have been surprised at how much they enjoy using it. Picture if HP decided to stay in the device business after this "fire sale", and in another six months released a new and better version. For $300 or $350, p

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Other companies price their tables "competitively" because they're playing Apple's high-priced game. There's an automatic association of a high-priced item with class and luxury. They're afraid that by pricing too low, it's going to cost their brand association with luxury goods, when in fact, they don't and probably will never have the brand association with luxury goods in the first place.

      What they don't understand is that nobody is better at being Apple than Apple. If they want to win, they need to start

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      I don't understand the reasoning. I don't know how it works in the app-markets sense, but Apple sees money also from people consuming media. What do Samsung/Motorola/etc. get from markets? Apple can sell an overprice product fairly cheaper because their money flow can compensate with the store one, but I don't clearly see what the other manufacturers can do to cut the prices down, if not adding more markets and segmenting Android even more.

      What am I missing?
    • Unless you're prepared to absolutely bleed money on every maxiPad sale, you're not going to soak up even a single percentage point of the iPad's market dominance.

      Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Tablet - Black 16GB, Android 3.0 OS, 10.1" LED Touchscreen, 1280x800, 9.5 Hours - MPN: TF101A1 See Product Details $386.00 - $449.00
      http://electronics.pricegrabber.com/tablets-e-readers/Asus-Eee-Pad-Transformer-TF101-Black/m873405665.html [pricegrabber.com]

      The Transformer is the strongest selling Android tablet by a reasonable margin, and Asus has set a goal of shipping 4-4.5 million tablets in the second half of the year, based on reported contract orders.

      iPad 2 sales figures are in thi

  • by digitallife (805599) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:28PM (#37196908)

    It's obvious that if you offer a tablet with similar features to an iPad but substantially cheaper, even if it lacks in some areas (such as apps or polish), people will buy it. It doesn't take a genius to realize that. Thats pretty much what's happening with the iPhone and Android phones already. The question that interests me more is whether a worse tablet (worse specs) at a substantially reduced price point will sell well.

    • This is similar to the PC and Netbook comparison. People did buy netbook in droves, didn't they?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      > Thats pretty much what's happening with the iPhone and Android phones already.

      Not quite.

      What's happening with the iPhone and Android phones is that Apple is getting it's clocked cleaned. Android phones and iPhones are both equally subsidized but both are cheap enough that they represent impulse purchases. At the "impulse buy" point, Apple loses it's hype advantage. More people are willing to take risks. Apple exploited this themselves with the iPad. They dropped the tablet price from $2000 to $600.

      App

      • by Brannon (221550) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:42PM (#37197148)

        They have 50% of all the profit in the smartphone industry. They are printing money. How does that equate with getting their clock cleaned?

      • Re:Worse tablets (Score:5, Interesting)

        by JordanL (886154) <[jordan.ledoux] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:44PM (#37197200) Homepage
        I've had both Android and iPhone devices. The biggest difference I see in the user-experience is that the Android solutions feel more like I'm getting whatever the hell Company X decided I should have. The iPhone does not. The Android devices seem more cobbled together.

        I haven't been able to figure out why it seems this way. I know this to be the opposite in many ways of what actually happens. I can't easily modify an iPhone if I find it lacking, but doing so on many Android devices is easier. I also have the chance to start with a device that more exactly fits what I want. Yet it seems while using them that the iPhone is asking me the question "what do you want me to do" and the Android is telling me "this is how you do that".

        Like I said, I have no idea why they come off this way to me. Perhaps it's related to UI design, or maybe it's related to responsiveness.
        • by Nerdfest (867930)
          It's probably that the iPhone interface happens to perfectly match your expectations. If they didn't, the limited comparability would push you the other way.
      • Re:Worse tablets (Score:4, Informative)

        by digitallife (805599) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:58PM (#37197410)

        Certainly there are android phones at the same price point as the iphone, except that the most popular android phones are the cheap ones which usually either have zero upfront cost or no contract. So in reality the situation is more similar to what I suggested: Android is the cheap alternative to the iPhone.

        • by scumdamn (82357)
          I have an Android phone with a dual core proc and 4.3" screen. This is the cheap option?
      • How is having the TWO best selling smart phones (iPhone 4 #1, iPhone 3GS #2) getting their clock cleaned? No. Really - explain to me how you can possibly make a statement like "Apple is getting it's clocked cleaned" when Apple has the #1 and #2 smartphone because, last time I checked, when you have the best selling _AND_ the second best selling product in a market, that's pretty damn successful. Perhaps you have a different definition of "success" however...
      • by Tharsman (1364603)

        Hmmm, if having the 2 top selling phones in the US is considered having their "clocked cleaned"....

        I have a better theory, look at the number 3 phone sold in the US and you will notice its the Evo 4G, a Sprint phone. The clue there? Sprint users have no access to the iPhone. It seems they will this October, though.

  • Leverage (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stickerboy (61554) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:32PM (#37196976) Homepage

    What Apple's rivals should do is not just learn a lesson. They should leverage the TouchPad. Get Android working on the TouchPad which just sold hundreds of thousands of units, and keep building the Android app userbase.

    Apple has had the advantage of leveraging what was originally the iPod consumer base into a mature ecosystem which has turned out to be one of the iPad's main advantages over its would-be rivals. Here's a golden opportunity for Apple's rivals to influence the future purchasing decisions of hundreds of thousands of consumers.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      > Get Android working on the TouchPad

      You mean 2.3 which is open sourced and available? The 2.x branch is incredibly shitty for tablets and wont give you access to the market or any of the google apps.

      If anyone does this, they have to use Honeycomb, its light years ahead of 2.x in regards to tablets. People want a proper tablet not a giant phone.

      Im so sick of half-assed 2.x tablets hurting Android's reputation. Thankfully, only tinkerers will enjoy the suckitude of 2.x tablets.

    • by Asic Eng (193332)
      That's a brilliant idea. It would also limit cannibalizing the sales of their high-end devices since HP is not making any new devices. Someone should suggest it to Samsung - they just might be a little bit annoyed with Apple right now.
  • $600 or $400 is way too much for a tablet. Half that, or less, is plenty to pay. Pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap.
    • Since you are ignoring all the component and manufacturating costs that it actually takes to make these things--what the hell? why not go all the way.

      • by MacTO (1161105)

        What does the component and manufacturing of a tablet cost, in relation to a laptop? I would expect tablets to be similar, if not less expensive, to produce. (Ignoring R&D costs of course, but you can make that up with high volume and low margins.)

        The fact is that big conservative businesses rarely branch out into risky new technologies unless the margins are high and the margins for their existing products are nearing the end of a race to the bottom. Desktops hit the bottom, so they rushed to laptop

      • by Americano (920576)

        "What we lose on an individual unit, we'll make up in volume."

  • Stop fixating your reviews or articles on Android tablets that are the same price as iPads and let us know what is out there for cheaper ?

    I picked up an ASUS Transformer for £100 less than the Motorola Xoom and it has exactly the same spec and OS
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      While contemplating a "pack light" trip to Europe I am starting to reconsider the idea of a 7" tablet. It seems to be big enough to be a significant improvement over a phone while not being quite as huge as an iPad or similarly sized devices.

      • by joh (27088)

        On the other hand it does exactly the same as any decent smartphone, but is much harder to put into most pockets. And you'll very probably need a phone anyway.

        I usually take my iPhone, the Apple BT keyboard and a glif [theglif.com]. The keyboard makes a world of a difference when writing more than just short texts, it's very light and small and you don't need to carry it all the time.

      • I've done something similar to that.

        I've separated out both my phone and my phone plans.

        I now carry around a 7" tablet, the original Galaxy Tab, which is a dream of a mobile Internet device. It's big enough to pretty much completely defuse any desire I have to carry around a laptop, while still weighing less than a pound and being totally portable. I then buy a data-only connection on this for only $25 a month from AT&T ($15 a month is also available if you don't use much data), and I have a web and app

    • It's probably because the cheaper ones aren't worth talking about. You can't make something on par to an iPad and have it costing 1/3rd of the price.
      • by fafaforza (248976)

        That's like saying we shouldn't be talking about a $15k car because nothing can come close to an M5. There's plenty of room for cheaper tablets. A lower quality LCD, Android OS, enough juice to get the whole thing running. The Nook Color retails for $250 and people have loaded Android on it and it has passable performance for simple browsing and email.

    • by lgftsa (617184)

      Not the same spec.
      When it was first announced, I was delighted. The detachable keyboard made it the perfect combination of tablet and netbook for me.
      When it went on sale, there was no mention of it's mobile capabilities. Dual band, quad band, locked? No problem I thought, I'll go down to the local JB store and have a fondle, the spec will be on the box.
      No, it wasn't. This wonderful device, thoughtfully designed to fit ALL my needs is WiFi only.
      So, after I confirmed there was no 3G model coming, I bought a X

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:35PM (#37197018)

    $100 is the right price point for an adequate tablet with Wifi or 3g. At $700, any pad is a bad joke, especially when a netbook is $300 and $150 readers can be rooted and made to function as tablets. $100 seems too low? Remember what laptops used to cost? Manufacturers will just have to get over it. The high margin time window just gets shorter and shorter.

    • Remember what laptops used to cost? Manufacturers will just have to get over it. The high margin time window just gets shorter and shorter.

      laptops didn't get cheaper just because manufacturers dropped their margins. The technology got better, faster, and cheaper. In this case, HP decided to take a product that wasn't selling and sell it at a big loss. It's neat that people have snapped them up, but there's no business model here-- not unless these tablets can be sold as loss-leaders for some other expensive product.

    • by shmlco (594907)

      The TouchPard cost $328 in parts and labor, and that's ONLY parts and labor. There's also the small matter of trying to recoup the $1.2 BILLION HP spent acquiring Palm and WebOS.

      I'd like an "adequate" hybrid car for $2,500 too, but I don't think I'm going to get one...

  • A tablet is a luxury item. I can't justify spending $600 or $800 (or whatever they cost) on a tablet when I can buy a laptop or build my own desktop for something in the $300-400 range.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      That's why Asus prices a very high-quality tablet for around $350-$399 now.
    • by Duradin (1261418)

      Go to the local salvation army or good will, you can get a desktop for $25.

      At some point, almost anything is a luxury item. (Your $300 machine vs. the used $25 machine, why pay more for the luxury of something new?)

    • The question isn't whether $500+ for a tablet is feasible in the market--it has been 100% proven that this is a feasible price point because Apple is selling tens of millions of iPads. The question is why can't anyone else replicate what Apple is doing with tablets?

      I think part of the problem is that Apple has an even larger headstart on tablets than they had on smartphones. It also seems that the 'ecosystem' is an even more important differentiater for tablets than for smartphones. I expect Android tablets

      • by RogerWilco (99615)

        I think part of the problem is that Apple has an even larger headstart on tablets than they had on smartphones.

        Why? I think that the introduction of the iPhone shook the phone industry to it's core and largely took them by surprise. I don't think that the Nokias and Motorolas of this world really would have thought that a PC/laptop maker like Apple would have been a serious competitor, especially after the ROKR, if you had asked them before the 9th of January 2007.
        After that date all phone manufactures all of a sudden were scrambling to make something similar as they realised that Apple didn't just make a phone like

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:36PM (#37197030)

    Selling a product at a loss doesn't help unless you have some other revenue stream.

    Console makers get away with it because they license developers. Besides, the production cycle on a console is long enough to actually put them into the black over the long run.

    Cellular companies get away with it because customers are locked into a contract, and have to pay a large sum to get out of it.

    Tablet makers though? I guess Apple has their app store and other developers can do the same, but most they would have to sell a lot of apps to make up the difference (since most apps are significantly cheaper than most console games, if you're using that model). The service model may work, but I honestly don't know how many people are going to be willing to pay for yet another internet connection. After all, the people who buy tablets are likely already paying for home internet and cellular internet service.

  • Sell it below cost to gain market share while hoping to make it up in volume.
  • News at 11!

    Seriously though, all it really shows is that $99 is past the impulse buy threshold for a quality tablet. Duh.

  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:43PM (#37197168)

    The same pattern keeps appearing. iPhone vs Android a few years ago and then an oddball player called the Pre came along which never drew in a lot of developers and never had the level of apps Android and iPhone enjoy. Pre failed. WebOS was later put on what was priced as essentially a feature phone, the Pixi.

    Now, we're playing this game again. iPad vs Honeycomb Tablets and then WebOS appears again. Not a lot of interest, still no developers, still no apps, and HP just decided to call it quits when their forecasts said this thing was going to be another Pre.

    In operating systems there tends to be a natural monopoly and natural duopolies because of the scales involved and because people really don't crave that much choice. This is yet another example of this reality.

    Most likely, someone will released some half-assed 2.3 ROM for this tablet and it'll suck. Shame google isn't releasing 3.2 for this thing via a side-channel. Honeycomb really is on par with ipad and makes for incredible experience.

    • by Microlith (54737)

      In operating systems there tends to be a natural monopoly and natural duopolies because of the scales involved and because people really don't crave that much choice. This is yet another example of this reality.

      There is no "natural monopoly" or "natural duopoly" in the OS space. There is monopolistic and anti-competitive actions that make it very hard for 3rd party options to survive. Which is the goal of Apple and MS, since they have the desktop space to themselves and they want the exact same situation in

      • by joh (27088)

        In operating systems there tends to be a natural monopoly and natural duopolies because of the scales involved and because people really don't crave that much choice. This is yet another example of this reality.

        There is no "natural monopoly" or "natural duopoly" in the OS space. There is monopolistic and anti-competitive actions that make it very hard for 3rd party options to survive. Which is the goal of Apple and MS, since they have the desktop space to themselves and they want the exact same situation in the mobile space. This is not an example of a "natural duopoly" coming to fruition, but rather that HP could not compete on the business end of things.

        This is too simple. Of course only a limited number of different systems will gain broad third-party support, just because it's too expensive to support more than one or two systems. This tends to push under fringe systems and they drown very quickly then.

        How many options should app developers have to support? Three, four, five versions of their apps? For systems that look very much as if they might vanish into nothing a year later?

        And of course Apple (or MS or Google) try to be one of those you can't ignor

      • by RogerWilco (99615)

        I don't think you're right. I think it's a very real effect that most hardware and software companies only cater to the top1-3 players in the market. For Desktop OSses that's Windows, even OSX is lagging far behind in available software and hardware with Linux a distant third. On the smartphone iOS is number one, with Android being nearly supported as well and Windows and Symbian tied for a distant third place.

        It's the law of diminishing returns for hardware and software developers. At some point it's not w

  • I personally feel that tablets are just too expensive right now.

    They are, basically, smartphones - the phone + a bigger screen. Now I'm not totally dissing this design. There have been times when reading something or wanting to show something to others that I would have loved for my phone to have a bigger screen. However, I already have my phone.

    Buying a tablet is an additional cost on top of the phone. It's not like just because I'm willing to pay 200 + contract for a phone I'd be willing to pay the same a

    • by joh (27088)

      Buying a tablet is an additional cost on top of the phone. It's not like just because I'm willing to pay 200 + contract for a phone I'd be willing to pay the same amount for a tablet, because I actually "need" the phone. I'm not going to decide whether to buy a tablet or a phone, because the phone is much more necessary. Since their functions overlap, the tablet is a completely extra luxury device.

      Yes, very much like an extra pair of shoes.

      The reason this doesn't effect Apple is... well do I really have to say it? Apple users are used to overpaying for stuff.

      Like people owning more than one pair of shoes? Or a car *and* a bike?

      Of course a tablet is luxury. But then even a smartphone is luxury and most other things you buy anyway.

      • by tycoex (1832784)

        What? You're comparing a tablet to shoes??? Shoes wear out and different types of shoes are needed for different occasions. You need a nice pair of shoes so you look professional, you need a tore up pair so you don't ruin the nice ones doing yard work, you need boots for rain/snow/mud, you need work shoes if you work construction or another job that requires a specific type of shoe.

        And I can't think of a single person I know who owns more than one car that doesn't actually need more than one car. I have two

  • This is the same reason Verizon still exists and, until recently, why people put up with sub-par phones. Simply put, the phones were cheap or free, and people put up with the higher usage costs (say, akin to fewer apps/less usability) because of the diminished up-front cost.

    If tablets were to segment as PCs did in the early 90s and offer "cheap" variants (eg. a tablet with 4G of storage and half as much RAM, maybe), maybe with cheaper displays, they would be adopted quite quickly, I think.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Somewhat agree, but ram is dirt cheap right now and the cost of storage options in these devices is being kept artificially high by marketing rather than by parts costs. Make cheaper tablets, but with storage that more properly reflects how cheap 64 bits of flash truly is, and you might have something.

      This is where Apple is vulnerable -- a significant part of their profit margin depends on people's perception that buying a device with 16 additional gigabytes should cost $110 more, and it just isn't true an

  • Getting developers to Android tablets isn't just a matter of getting more units out there than iPad. There are already more Android phones out there than iPhones, but there is still more money to be made on the iPhone than on Android. What Android needs to do is get the type of users that are willing to pay for apps. iPhone users pay for apps. Even Rovio didn't want to release Angry Birds on Android because they didn't think enough Android users would be willing to pay for it. Maybe Rovio can afford to supp
  • ... but I make up for it in volume.

  • Lower the price! Lower the damned price. You have to be a boutique item to charge boutique prices, and the Android tablets aren't, yet, and may never be. As long as they try to go toe-to-toe with Apple on profit margins, they're only going to appeal to people who absolutely wouldn't own an Apple product but still need some kind of tablet device. Oh, as they fail one by one they'll come up with a variety of excuses, but the real reason is that the devices are too expensive for what the public perceives t

  • ..Welcome the new Foxconn Overlords. All these tablets are being made in the same bloody factory in Shenzhen, right? The one with 450,000 employees?
  • What HP's TouchPad Fire Sale Teaches iPad Rivals?

    Give up now, and sell your remaining stock at $99 a shot.

  • This article makes the typical geek mistake of assuming that Android tablets are failing due to some technical reason such as "not enough apps". This assumes customers are making perfectly rational choices and are looking at things such as "app selection" when they "buy a tablet."

    Right now there is not even a "tablet" market. There is an "iPad market." That is it. I was in the DFW airport with a friend. A bunch of non-Apple gizmos were on display in a locked case. One was a tablet. "What's that?" she asked.

  • The number is actually closer to 20:1, based on figures from last month [daringfireball.net]. Shipments may be going out 8:1 in favor of the iPad, but sales, at least prior to the TouchPad's fire sale, were closer to 20:1 in favor of the iPad. The difficulty is that the manufacturers, Apple excluded, are primarily offering units shipped in their quarterly reports, rather than units sold, so you have to do some calculations to put together the various figures.

  • HP just unwittingly and probably unwillingly just handed the game to Android.
    While the sell off of $99 tablets is certainly going to hurt Samsung, etc in the pocketbooks in terms of lost sales, the fact is almost all the people who bought the Touchpads are going to install Android on them.

    In a blink of an eye, the Android tablet market just grew by over a million units sold.

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