Was HP’s $99 TouchPad Liquidation Sale An Adoption Ploy?
Here’s an interesting theory: Could HP’s $99 liquidation just have been a webOS adoption ploy? With HP’s official NextBench blog professing a short re-release of the HP TouchPad, has HP taken a Hail Mary longshot to make sure webOS doesn’t fall into obscurity?
According to HP’s TheNextBench blog, an unknown quantity and unknown date for a re-release production run of HP TouchPads is in the near-undetermined future. Cool. Why is that? Because according to the blog …
… we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand.
Hmm. Really? What’s more interesting is that HP is losing a crazy amount of money on each TouchPad built, boxed and sold. Some estimates put the hardware inside the TouchPad at about $300 worth, which means HP is likely losing a lot more than $200 on each unit, especially when you take into account distribution channels.
So what’s the reason then, for this money-losing publicity stunt? Product proliferation. HP may be hoping that the more TouchPads that are in the hands on the public, the more exposure webOS will have, and a greater audience for webOS developers and evangelists. This could explain HP PSG head Todd Bradley’s comments on why HP may very well still be developing webOS devices and more.
The problem is, how many people out there are really “fans” of webOS, and how many just wanted a tablet for $99? Are either group likely to spent additional money on a new webOS device, one that will likely cost much more than $99? It’s too soon to say, especially since the fate of PSG Group is still so nebulous. But one thing is for sure, HP doesn’t want webOS to die yet. And to be honest, I’ve never seen a time where there was more buzz around webOS …