Is the HP Touchpad too little too late?

Daring Fireball:

To me, easily the most appealing iPad competitor. But I think the Pre is the most appealing iPhone competitor, and it hasn’t fared well. HP has matched the iPad’s pricing: $499/599 for 16/32 GB Wi-Fi models.

I think the problem facing HP is summed up in the sub-head on this promotional page:

The ultimate in entertainment with Beats Audio and Adobe Flash.

That’s not a compelling answer to “Why should I buy this instead of an iPad?” I mean, who has even heard of “Beats Audio”?

Update: Lots of feedback arguing that Dr. Dre’s Beats brand has good consumer recognition. I remain skeptical that this is a flagship selling point for a tablet, though, no matter how popular their headphones are.

And Glenn Fleishman had a good quip:

Whenever a hardware maker has to put the name of another company
in its ads as a selling point, it may already have lost.


I don’t typically agree with anything this guy says, but I can’t ignore this post. Unfortunately he’s spot on. The HP ecosystem is incredibly well designed and for all intents and purposes is probably the best tablet/smartphone UI on the market.

While Dr. Dre’s Beats brand does in fact have a solid consumer following it won’t be enough to make the device compelling. And as I mention here, HP needs to expand their line of smartphones to compel consumers to make the transition; or at least design a device that people can’t ignore, i.e. like Apple and the iPhone.

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