Really, what choice did HP have? When the company decided to shut down its WebOS devices, HP put a nail in the Touchpad’s coffin. The earlier, and somewhat shocking, announcement essentially meant that anyone who had invested in a Touchpad was left stranded. Sure, Touchpads still work, but there’s no future for the device.
Yet, HP didn’t drop the price of the Touchpad in the U.S. Touchpad prices dropped from $399 to $99 at Best Buy retailers in Canada. Why then hasn’t HP dropped prices in the United States? Perhaps U.S. consumers haven’t heard the latest HP news? Or, perhaps, some consumers are still looking to the Touchpad as a viable alternative to the iPad?
Why HP Gave Up the Fight
There are a lot of tablets on the market today. A few of them are doing very well, while some of them are not selling at all. Even though the iPad 2 remains the top contender, there are some other tablets that have gained a fair amount of attention. You may be surprised to learn that HP was one of those tablets. That’s right, the Touchpad received good reviews across the board.
In addition, the Touchpad wasn’t outrageous priced, and consumers were starting to warm up to HP’s offering – or so it seemed. HP recently reported that the Touchpad simply wasn’t moving. Stores such as Best Buy had the Touchpad in stock and couldn’t sell any of the devices. Why? Mostly because the Touchpad isn’t the iPad. HP isn’t alone in this fight, many other device manufacturers are bound to give up on the tablet market within the near future.
What This Means for Consumers
If you live in Canada, you can now purchase a Touchpad for $99 from Best Buy. You can also purchase discounted Touchpads from Amazon and other online retailers. Everything that was said about the Touchpad before is still true. This is still a good tablet to own, it still works well, and it’s still a good alternative to a laptop. What isn’t true are the predictions that HP will perfect the Touchpad, come out with new features, and upgrade its tablet.
When HP pulled the plug on its WebOS devices, any future that may have been in store for the Touchpad disappeared. If you do purchase a Touchpad, you won’t be able to upgrade this device, you won’t find any new features, and you can’t have faith in HP taking over the Apple market. If you purchased a Touchpad awhile ago, you’re simply out of luck. HP is not offering those people who purchased a Touchpad any kind of refund or discount. For now, you can still use your device, but it might be a good idea to look towards purchasing a different tablet.
The Future of HP
HP execs have stated that the company intends to focus more on computers and less on digital devices. HP had very limited success with the Palm, and now the Touchpad has failed. This leaves only one direction for the company to move in, and that direction is back to the drawing board (or the old board). Will HP survive?
It will be tough for any electronics company to exist in this world without some kind of device offering. Sure, the tablet market is becoming ridiculously saturated, but giving up on the device world altogether is a very large risk that companies like HP should carefully consider before taking.