The Touchpad isn’t completely Dead. Mostly dead, yes, but is it just a flesh wound? The Touchpad frenzy has proved a point, and now can HP, or any company, really capitalize on it?
Apple has been the cock of the walk, the king of the tablet, since the iPad came out. They came up with something that is a great idea which has spawned a whole tablet market. No competitor seems to be able to come up with anything to seriously threaten its dominance. Its not that the Android tablets aren’t good, it has to do with features, and more importantly price point. I touched on this when talking about the Nook Color in the past. HP though, unwittingly, came up with the plan. Something I had mentioned in those same posts about the Nook Color. Its the same thing that gave the PC the advantage in the PC wars back in the 90′s. that is price point.
I’ve been wondering when we would see a price point that would spur competition. Most Tablets are in the $400 plus range of price. The Nook Color, although a reader, is $250 and offers a lot of tablet features, but its App store is lacking. The demise of the HP Touchpad and the fire sale though has shown that for a lower price point, a tablet that doesn’t have as much app support can compete. Now imagine if you will what would happen if Android had a tablet in the $200 or less range. More people purchase it, more developers see a reason to write apps for it, and bingo, a true competitor to Apple can emerge. Amazon might do that with its rumored tablet, but no solid information on it is out yet.
The idea being that in a down economy that we are in does put limits on what people are willing to purchase. Done properly though, a low cost tablet can bring in a nice profit to a company. Yes they might loose on the initial hardware, but if partnered up with the developers, it can be possible to turn a profit through the purchasing of apps. It might mean the developer makes a little less, or the apps are a bit more expensive, say $2 for most apps instead of $1, but it is possible.
Barnes and Noble could have done it completely, instead of halfway. Now the question is will others learn from this or not?