HP's UK Personal Systems Group head Paul Hunter has sent round an open letter urging calm on recent news that the ink giant is rethinking its PC strategy. This was widely reported as "HP gets out of PCs" – not hugely surprising given IBM's similar strategy. But Hunter said: "Let me be absolutely clear in saying that at no …
Ok so I got the $100 touchpad, who could pass up a deal like that even if I only use it for surfing, reading and angry birds. Problem is the Kindle app is beta and I can't sideload any of my books.
No wonder its only $100....I would be freaking out if I paid the original price and undoubtedly taking it back.
...it was at best a half-decent tablet. The geeks who bought at the fire-sale probably knew what they were getting. As for the innocents who just saw a sub $100 tablet which was incompatible with Android, I wonder how they feel they made out.
Furthermore, there's not much point in saying that the way to succeed in selling against Apple is to sell your tablet at less than cost, unless you're in for the long game and have deep pockets.
the long game is the only way to beat apple in this market, and HP have appropriately sized pockets, so selling this machine at a loss would have been a perfectly sensible approach. It's what got microsoft into the console business quite successfuly. A touchpad is a perfectly good youtube playing, website surfing, email getting tablet.
As for "innocents who saw a tablet incompatible with android", get real. If it's not an iOS device then it's os is pretty irrelevant in this market. Most innocents don't care about android they care about facebook, email and youtubes. That on a tablet for <£100 is why these things are selling now.
And they don't seem to be flying off the shelves. At least they will be compatible with the Android store, plus they can do YouTube, email, etc stuff.
What will be the future of the WebOS App Store? Who will do the next Angry Birds, or whatever?
I suspect that most of the non-geek (as well as a large proportion of the geek) purchases will be consigned to the bottom of a cupboard within 2 months.
Whether a product sells (if not as fad or status symbol) is on the basis of perceived value for money.
HP seems to have demonstrated that a reasonably good tablet at a lower price sells. The sub-$100 (which seems to be sub-£100 in the UK) Android tablets are simply showing they are still too overpriced for what they are. Simples.
"The sheer scale of interest in the discounted products took us a little by surprise"
Hardly surprising. If tablets sold for less than what a decent spec full-size laptop sells for, then of course they'll sell like hot cakes! Even considered one myself at that price, and I'm a tablet nay-sayer!
Same with netbooks. They were popular when they were cheap and cheerful small Linux notebooks. Once they were specced up to run Windows 7, with a price-tag of a full laptop, they stopped being as popular. Industry insiders figured that noone wanted netbooks anymore.
To the contrary, people want cheap tech.
"Same with netbooks. They were popular when they were cheap and cheerful small Linux notebooks. Once they were specced up to run Windows 7, with a price-tag of a full laptop, they stopped being as popular. Industry insiders figured that noone wanted netbooks anymore.
To the contrary, people want cheap tech."
Sorry, your point was so good, I just wanted to quote it again.
If people think that there is going to be a new shiny-shiny in 12-18 months that they are going to want, that makes the value of the current purchase less. If they feel that the same item is still going to be useful in 4-5 years, then the value is more and they are willing to spend more.
Witness the MS ad campaign where they say "Julie thinks her 3 year old PC is still fine, so we put a shop in her home to show how shite it really is..." Said PC will probably be perfectly serviceable for a good 2 more years, considering the use she puts it to. If she paid £600, that makes a big difference on the spend/year.
People want to know that they aren't wasting their money. A quality build that they feel comfortable with can charge more than some dodgy chinese knock-off.
Of course this runs completely counter to the manufacturer's needs, who just want our money.
Dotdavid kinda proves the point it isn't. As said, "Cheap and cheerful" Linux boxes float my boat *for their intended purpose*. Does the job.
Now, where's the "cutie using an Asus 701 on the beach" icon? No, not the Paris one, I doubt she could find the power switch (unless it was at least 8" and pink...)
If all people wanted was cheap tech then they wouldn't buy shiny shiny in such huge numbers. Your basic point is valid: the poor value proposition. Apple is able to offer the Apple brand and the expectation that anyone can use the device and they will never ever have to answer a technical question. Other brands have to come up with their own value proposition otherwise they are destined for the bargain basement. The lack of sales for largely comparable products is customers expressing "make me a better offer, gov" for products that they might like but don't feel they need.
If Google can continue to polish Android and the OEMs continue to improve their manufacturing then it's conceivable that the perception of Apple's added value will change as has to a large degree happened with the phones where Droids are no longer the toys of the elite or Fanboi wannabes.
The touchpad was pretty good from the start (well, i liked it at least). with the now sub-bargain price, it's no surprise that interest has skyrocketed, it's on par with other slabs and is a real steal at the current price.
Heck, i'm even contemplating getting one myself.
HP have said that they will be shipping more units into the country.
However it is not clear yet if they will be available thorugh reseller channels or direct from HP. Also not clear exactly when they will be available but I would expect them soonish.
What is clear is that they will be sold at the bargain price.
Funny - to spec up a similar Apple machine to my PC would cost 50% more (e.g. closer to 3 grand than 2) - and my choice of games would be seriously limited and, let's be realistic here, if you're spending 2 grand on a PC you're going to be gaming on it (and/or making or modding games perhaps and using 3d apps like Maya).
And the really daft thing is, if you're NOT going to play games on it then a <£500 PC will probably do you - in which case you're looking at maybe a 100% markup (or more) to get a Mac.
The ONLY point I can see in Macs is as an expensive niche device for people who want to use Logic Studio - I don't even think they're very pretty, the case designs look like something Lian-Li were doing about a decade ago and the OSX UI is well, grey - but for some reason Macolytes seem to equate the "PC" with Windows 95 in a biege box from 15 years ago.
Enjoy your lunch Mr. Troll.
that a 2000$+ PC is an expensive niche device for people who are interested in games. As for the beauty of the case designs, I could show you a few designed for gamers that would tell everything about the taste of those who are buying them. Yes, paying more for an Apple computer is about in the same range of insanity like spending 600$ for a video card or countless hours spent searching for those components that will give you 3 extra fps.
That is an interesting take on it, but I think what can be learned from this is that the perceived value of tablets by their manufacturers is much higher than the perceived value of tablets by the purchasing public. On this side of the pond $99.00 is far too little, $599.00 is far too much.
Just for the fun of it lets look at a tablet and a notebook PC from the same manufacturer.
Acer Aspire AS5552-7420 LX.R4402.253 Notebook PC - AMD Phenom II Dual-Core N660 3.0GHz, 6GB DDR3, 640GB HDD, DVDRW, 15.6" Display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit''
Acer Iconia Tab A500-10S32c XE.H6LPN.003 Tablet - NVIDIA Tegra 250 Dual-Core 1.0GHz, 1GB DDR2, 32GB Storage, 10.1" Multi-Touch Display, Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Dual Webcams
Which one would you buy if you only had $500.00 in your budget?
$350.00 for that tablet would be about the right price, then sell the case, keyboard et all as accessories.
ASUS has their prices a little closer to where they should be with the 16 GB Transformer @ $399.99, but they mess up when it comes to the 32GB model, charging $100 more for an extra 16GB of RAM, putting their 32GB version a full $30.00 more than the Acer.
Price these @ $350.00 and $400.00 and they would fly off the shelves.
Lot of meaningless stuff above about strange techy things no one understands, outside techies and maybe gamers of limited social skills, which is why Macs sell.
The computer for the rest of us. Easy to use , truly intuitive and looks good, it does all the things techies like to control and the majority of users don't understand or care about for you. That alone is worth a few hundred to most users, and is only a negative to the minority who have a clue what any of that speccy stuff is about. I am technical, just not self absorbed enough to think most of the world is or wants to be. Owning a PC is nghtmare of inpenetrable UI, incompatibilities and upgrades that don't quite work out, because they are modular not integrated.(and HP's printer software if you made that mistake as well.
PS Could not believe how MS trashed all the hard workwe put in learning 2000/XP Interface and hid the same old familiar PC BS, which almost worked well in XP, under yet another impenetrable layer of new unintuitiveness called Windows Seven (Now! - with added network "security" difficulties). How disrespectful of our time are they? Now if you could run OSX on a PC .... but its not integrated enough....... back to the real world.....
at more than the price of a reasonable laptop wit little if any more functionaility than a smart phone what do they expect?
it is basically a wifi enabled browser that doubles as a media player and photo frame, you can download a few "apps" which are gimicky and you will easilly get bored with
no expansion with SD cards etc, no 3g, tied to HP branded docks and keyboards and WEBOS which is proprietory to HP until andriod is ported over shortly TOTAL FAIL
poor product which was over priced in the current climate, HP do not have the appeal of apple where people buy it because it has the apple logo on, HP and other manufacturers have to build worthwhile product at a reasonable price
HP failed until the price fell to a level people though was reasonable for the product
You're basically right.
No SD card slot
No USB host support
Terrible video codec support
Heavier/thicker than iPad 2, yet with poorer battery life.
Laggy scrolling in the browser and occasional lock ups.
The full price simply wasn't worth it.
Now it's dirt cheap, I have one!
> Terrible video codec support
Only in the bundled player. There are apps in both preware and the app catalog that play most formats.
> Laggy scrolling in the browser and occasional lock ups.
Set logging to minimal, then install all the log disable patches from preware = speedy, non laggy tablet.
> The full price simply wasn't worth it.
This is true.
> Now it's dirt cheap, I have one!
Me too :-)
This will be par for the course with many modern managers.
'We are going to do this...'
Wait a few days
'No I didn't say that'
Do something completel different.
All it needs is a picture of John Cleese sitting behind a desk in the sea saying,
'And now for something complete different'
Then a big foot appears and stamps on his head.
The 16gb It was sold to the public for £89 (sold out that day) and us staff were offered it for £69 (sold out in about 60 seconds).
At this price it was cheaper than a Kindle so if used to read books and nothing else it was worth buying.
I always said they should have slightly undercut the iPad to start with just to entice people to take the risk on a new, bespoke OS which had absolutely no market share. Selling at the same price as the iPad pretty much guaranteed poor sales.
Selling it so insanely cheap, what did they expect!?
I am sure that I am not the only one who has now concluded that HP should fire their communications advisers and stop up the mouths of all their senior managers with super glue. How did we get the impression that they were about to completely torch that side of their hardware interests, why from *them* over the course of the last few days. An absolute object lesson in how *not* to communicate with your customers, shareholders and employees.
Once upon a time if a firm wanted to intruduce a new product they would sell it at cost or near cost as an introductory offer.
That was in the days when merchandisers ran merchandising. Now everything is run by beancounters who have little idea about merchandising, if it's as good as or nearly as good as the competitor, then it will sell at that competitors price they say. Bollocks, I say, get it out there at a price that will carve itself a place in the market. When it achieves that, then the special price ends or a new model begins at a not so special price.
the Touchpad firesale has probably caused quite a lot of people who were tablet-sceptic to give it a try. this will probably boost the tablet market quite a bit, and in a couple of years, once the touchpad is too slow and too unsupported to be useable, there's going to be a lot of people buying apples or samsungs to replace it
Unless this is a ploy to get 2mil+ units out there.
HP: Hey developers, remember how no one uses WebOS? We have 2 mil units live now. Go go App Store.
Developers: HOLY CRAP.
HP: Oh by the way, Touchpad 2 will be out in November. Have fun.
Customers: DO WANT.
Apple: Mr Jobs whar are youzzzzz!! Halps!!!
That might well be true but it's not what Hunter said!
Actually HP laptops aren't all cheap plastic craptops. An organisation I'm associated with has just bought a 13.3" Core i3 Probook and it's quite a nice machine in a rugged metal case. The only problem is that it runs Windows 7 (necessary for the software we wanted to run) and the touchpad is horrible to use if you're used to Apple's.
My guess is that no-one's done good quality price research here yet. A good quality full-specced sub £170 tablet will sell in huge huge volumes because people will buy several (it's a bit like Nintendo DS's once one child has one - all the children in a family have to have one). I can be reading tech news while watching football on TV, while my other half reads the Daily Mail and the children mess around on Facebook for instance.
Apple's shown there is demand at the luxury end of the market (a bit like a coffee table showpiece) but it's not at a one-per-child price. Rather than compete to sell one against Apple, compete for the much larger volume of several per household.
I realised heard they were discounting them and assumed it would be like 2-300, still too much for something I don't have a real need for. <100?!!?! That's a ridiculous price. HP just doesn't have a clue. I would have got one like a shot if I'd realised they were that cheap! Dammit, dammit, dammit!
HP makes a good Laptop. But I would never buy one. Why. They are too big, too clunky and too plastic. They are massive, like folding desktops! The perfomance is fine. But I would purchase Lenovo simply because of it's metal case, matte finish and much thinner form factor even with the same perfomrmance.
"HP makes a good Laptop. But I would never buy one. Why. They are too big, too clunky and too plastic."
Yes, their consumer models (Pavilion/Presario). Their business laptops are really solid devices.
"They are massive, like folding desktops! "
WTF? Are you shipping at Toys-R-Us only or what? A quick look at the HP website should have told you that this statement is BS. There are lots of HP laptop models from tiny 10" netbooks to 19" mobile workstations.
"But I would purchase Lenovo simply because of it's metal case, matte finish and much thinner form factor even with the same perfomrmance."
Good luck. Lenovo builds crap, too, as did IBM before. Want examples? Thinkpad T61: cracking display covers, breaking inner frames (which are not made out of some magical steel but cheap diecast aluminium), and cheap hinges which either came loose or seized/after a while; Or the Thinkpad T41/T42 which easily overheated because of insufficient cooling and which showed lots of mainboard defects because of warping (caused by lifting your laptop on one side only). And there are many more cockups in many Thinkpad models. Go figure.
Oh btw: there is no Lenovo laptop with metal case. It's all some kind of plastics (Lenovo claims it's some superstrong composite for certain parts, but experience has shown that it's hardly more robust than cheap plastics). If you want a laptop with a metal case then you have to buy a Panasonic Toughbook.
If you think that Lenovo is better than others then you're delusional.
Since a boss of UK HP is, presumably, a person of at least average intelligence this statement that they were "taken a little by surprise" can be nothing but a conversation filler. After all, how can _anyone_ be surprised in a customer stampede if they discount ANY product to less than 1/4 of its original price? Anything, from a loaf of bread to a Boeing dreamliner, with a few IT bits in between those two.
btw, it would be interested to see if this price in any way reflects their cost-per-unit.
...was to price the 16GB Touchpad at £199 and take the battle to the Android tablets. Yes that would mean selling at a loss but HP has deep pockets and they should have absorbed the losses for a while trying to build market share.
Despite HP claiming that 'it's a marathon not a sprint' a little while ago they didn't stick with it much past the warm up...
If you sell something for far less than it costs to make it, people will buy it!
The funniest thing is the eBay speculators trying to resell them at inflated prices who think that this is demand driven and not cost driven.
if it was selling at or near cost it would still be a dust gathering, inert lump.
I think where a lot of these companies screw up is that they want to make huge margins, but they don't have the product quality to do it. Apple are expensive, but at least they do manage to have a consistent fit and finish both though their hardware and software. Costs more, looks lovely, works pretty much perfectly provided you don't want to root it... which most "normal"** people don't.
Cheapy clones from China can compete on price alone.
But "brands" like HP and Dell seem to think they can knock out something pretty average looking, and still charge Apples margins. They can't. They might sell to business who can negotiate a slightly better deal plus support pacakge, but with consumers they need a better product. I'm guessing they don't lower their prices though because that would just kill their business market?
But the interesting thing with the HP TouchPad is that they were selling their own WebOS. But as WinMo7 proves, if you're starting on a back-foot (small user-base) you're unlikely to get anywhere. HP had an advantage over MS in that they have (had?) their own hardware AND software.... so, with the benefit of hindsight, if HP had built the TouchPad to the cost of say, the Hannspree Hannspad Tablet (10.1" ARM9 + Tegra II T20 1GHz), loaded WebOS on it, sold it at the same price as Hannspree (£149), then with an advertising push, they would've not made much money, but they would've likely gained much more market share which is important for WebOS and it's app-store. Once they have earned the right to charge a larger margin, they can.
Basically... HP should have *ME* as their CEO. Let's face it, it couldn't be much worse! :D
**Yeah, so not us lot!
First they cancel most people's HP Touchpad orders, then they remove all the 1-star negative reviews from those upset about how Amazon has treated them.
Not their finest hour.
If they would have released the Touchpad 16gb for $299 to start, they could have made inroads into the tablet market. What gets me is all these other players in the tablet market want to sell their wares for a similar price to Apple, the leader at this moment in the genre.
While their specs may be better or similar, Apple has it locked up because all the non techy people who have IPhones can go to the Ipad with no learning curve.
People are not going to change unless they have a compelling reason to do so and the $299.00 price would have gave non tablet owners a reason to do so an built market share.
"...the team in the UK remains committed to creating and supporting great products and services."
Oh really? The support's not in the UK for starters, and calling it 'support' seems a misnomer anyway, http://furbian.blogspot.com/2011/08/hp-envy-17-17-desktop-replacement.html
So someone who bought a 'refurbished' consumer laptop at Curry's which (knowing Curry's) very well could have been a customer return which they tried to get rid of, and then complains that 'support' means calling a hotline? Of course consumer support is lacking and unhelpful, no matter what brand. This is because the sad truth is that many consumers are indeed the morons they are treated as by hotliners, and they rarely show brand loyality unless it's an Apple product. Consumer products also only compete on price, and there is hardly any room for proper local support with experienced technicians. You get what you pay for.
The point is that if support is important then don't buy a consumer toy, but a professional computer which is well supported. If you're too cheap and prefer the consumer crap then don't complain about poor support, period.
Also, this guy said he's not an idiot but then he buys a 'refurbished' laptop from Curry's, which generally means 'this laptop has been returned by the previous buyer as faulty but we didn't find a fault or couldn't be bothered looking, and it's condition doesn't allow us to sell it as new so we sell it as refurbished'. The word 'refurbished' has been widely mis-used and generally means 'it's second-hand but we like to avoid this word'. In case of HP, everything which has been truely factory refurbished is called HP RENEW, and this is also visible from the model number (trailing 'R'). But he obviously didn't buy HP RENEW, he bought a second grade item which is a well known tactics in Curry's and all the other gadget chains.
I'd say it's his own fault. Having written some Assembler programs obviously doesn't make one knowing the IT business.
HP is going nowhere. Period.
I swear the current 3 are also my last HP printers. Great printers and good on volume cartridges BUT the ink deciding it is too old and switching itself off when it isn't at £25 per cartridge is a blatant rip off, and the software's failure to work with OS upgrades on the Mac, and hang the computer which NOTHING else does is just utterly abysmal, means I have to use my PC to scan, etc.