Saturday, July 2, 2011

confusion in the marketplace?

Friday's Wall Street Journal carried the following (by Ben Worthen and Ian Sherr):

"H-P's device, the TouchPad, comes more than a year after Apple started selling its iPad. In that time, Apple has sold more than 25 million tablets and added nearly $100 billion in market capitalization. H-P, meanwhile, has lost $50 billion.

H-P is planning a marketing blitz for the TouchPad. But it faces an uphill battle in the fast-growing tablet market, which is dominated by the iPad and crowded with devices from Samsung Electronics Co., Motorola Mobility..."
Read more:

A classic, really snotty article, by journalists with their heads parked where the sun doesn't shine. HP lost virtually all of the capitalization due to the Hurd debacle, not for lack of a TouchPad. And as we've documented here for several years, the Hurd shell game was essentially over, and whoever was next would have to deal with a shortchanged deck.
Yes, Apple's stock has gone nuts, rightfully, and the i-Pad is a huge winner (as are the i-Pod, the i-Phone, and the i-Mac). But Cisco, Microsoft, RIM, Nokia, Motorola, Intel, Oracle, SAP, and even IBM stocks have fared poorly also -- check it out, and no one is suggesting that they should be head-to-head compared to Apple's success.

Saturday's WSJ Blog repeats the quote, adding that: "Fifth Man in a Four-Man Race’: Starting today, H-P will have employees stationed in over 100 Best Buy stores, selling its new TouchPad tablet priced at $499. The device debuted to some mixed reviews, earning plaudits for its WebOS and criticism for everything else. A major negative, the lack of native applications. H-P said that the TouchPad will have 300 apps—roughly 89,700 apps less than Apple’s iPad. The company is working with software makers to develop programs for the device, but with no established customer base there is little incentive for developers. The WSJ tracks down a mobile games maker, Bryan Duke of Acceleroto who says, “I can reach a bigger audience—more happy customers and more potential revenue—with [Apple’s] iOS,” he said."

Well,duh... HP pointedly said for months that it is building a Business TouchPad, not an entertainment TouchPad. Accelerato builds games that no IT manager would allow to run in a business setting. So do the porn guys, but their stuff sells. An X-rated producer could give an equally appropriate WSJ quote.

We just hosted three grandchildren this week, two are eight years old and one is thirteen. We compared notes for our i-Pads (yes, we each have one). The thirteen year old girl had over two hundred apps; two were worth adding to my wife's iPad which she uses primarily for her business, but also for magazines and even the WSJ. Of my wife's seventeen apps, the girl wanted one. The eight-year olds had already used their monthly allotment of minutes, and filled a quarter of the memory with streaming video shot around their house. The first sixteen movies appeared mostly to show the family dog wandering all about. Deathless video, destined for YouTube.

Serious laptop users, serious book readers and researchers, and most folk who work for companies have real work to do -- if the 89,700 apps now available on the iPad and not on the TouchPad, help dramatically in those contexts, they'll be ported soon enough -- provided that HP can establish that it has built a quality product for real business users, overcoming the clear shortcomings of all current iPad-like devices for such environs. But such observations don't make good press copy.

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