Two weeks ago marked the end of the HP Touchpad, but last Monday, it became the most sought after tablet! Last week also marked the end of an era, the iconic Steve Jobs steps down as CEO of Apple.
So, why did the HP Touchpad become so popular? It’s sure wasn’t because of HP’s marketing campaign, or because of the device’s sheer awesomeness. It was because it went on clearance. Several stores around the country marked the 16gb model down to $99, and the 32gb model to $149. Places like Staples, Best Buy, CDW, and Amazon sold out in minutes. On Monday, I called Staples, and the rep on the phone said there are no Touchpad’s in any of their stores in all of New York state, and CDW experienced what amounted to a denial of service attack. It felt like an Apple iPad2 release! I stated in my previous rumination that I felt HP priced the TouchPad wrong, and the $400+ price tag didn’t make it compelling in the brutal and crowded tablet space that Google and Apple own. That observation came true when they lowered the price, it became a bonanza, so one can only imagine if they would have made any headway with people during the critical student shopping months of July and August, had they priced the tablet around $300 or less? HP could have even made it an introductory price drop to penetrate the market; they would have taken an initial loss, but it could have allowed the platform to possibly survive. The same tactic was used by Microsoft, with their Xbox, when they invaded the console market, which at that time was dominated by Sony and Nintendo. I really think HP royally screwed up with the TouchPad, in the same way that they botched the HP Slate. Although a colleague of mine brought up the idea, that maybe HP wanted the TouchPad to fail, to use as an excuse to finish off the remnants of Palm and move away from the consumer market.
I find that hard to believe, but stranger things have happened.
The other big thing last week was the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. His resignation was inevitable, but I guess no less shocking. The reigns will be handed over to Tim Cook, who has already been playing interim CEO over the past year. Of course, many industry folks are spouting the apocalypse now, and the end of Apple, which is absurd. I think people forget that Apple is more than Steve Jobs, and yes, he was, and still is the driving force of the company, but there are plenty of talented and innovative people that will carry on his vision and work. Steve and the board chose Tim Cook for a reason, and if he didn’t think Tim could do the job, he wouldn’t have been chosen for the role. Besides, Steve isn’t dead (yet), and he will sit on the board of directors. Apple still has a bright future ahead of it, so I think it’s a bit premature to abandon ship.