Report: 32GB HP TouchPad slate listed at $599

Could HP align the pricing of its upcoming TouchPad slate with that of Apple’s iPad 2? A report by PreCentral certainly suggests so. A screenshot of a Walmart stock listing posted by the site quotes a $599 asking price for what looks like the 32GB, Wi-Fi-only version of the TouchPad

Apple, of course, charges the exact same price for the 32GB version of its Wi-Fi iPad 2. The 16GB model costs $100 less. Since HP has officially announced 16GB and 32GB versions of the TouchPad, it’s probably safe to assume that there will be a $499, Wi-Fi-only model.

Funnily enough, PreCentral says HP is even following in Apple’s footsteps on the packaging front, using a similar-sized box to store the device. The site also talks of a TouchPad docking station priced at $79.88 (again, based on a Walmart listing). That’s a bit of a step up over the iPad 2’s $29 dock, although the HP device will reportedly use inductive charging like that neat Touchstone dock for the Palm Pre.

Going up against the iPad 2 at the same price point seems like a bold move for HP, especially considering we’re talking about a first-generation device whose operating system lacks the momentum of Android and iOS. We’ve been impressed by the ease of use of webOS on the Pre, though, so perhaps HP’s confidence is justified.

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    • burntham77
    • 8 years ago

    I like the word “Funnily.”

    • Kent_dieGo
    • 8 years ago

    WebOS? I thought is was going to run Windows 7. I wonder how the battery life compares to the iPad?

    • StashTheVampede
    • 8 years ago

    I’m really pulling for WebOS as a true competitor to iOS. Android works well, but not a single company owns the hardware and software stack other than Apple and HP. These prices don’t look good, but I’m betting this tablet will be picked up by slightly more people than the PlayBook.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 8 years ago

    Still a tad too expensive. My real question is, who are they kidding with these prices? $100 for 16 extra GBs of flash memory? come on! 16GB SD cards cost $20 retail, I know it’s not the same to integrate components on these devices but we are not talking smartphone miniaturization either! and whats the deal with charging $100 difference for Wifi only and 3G enabled devices?

    isuppli analysis reports baseband RF chips cost less than $15 on pretty much all available tablets ($25 components and installation costs on original iPad) and less than $10 for Wifi modules.

    Someone might point out “if it’s so damn easy to buy and build these things why don’t you do it yourself!”… but no, my real critique is: Why are they trying to penetrate a new market introducing devices charging BOM + 100% or more for their products and then complain sales are slow for anything but iPads. Was their whole marketing plan based on “novelty”?

    They must be covering for really big R&D and hidden costs on all these first gen slates, I have no other explanation.

    [url<]http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/XOOMBOM-Totals-$359-92-IHS-iSuppli-Teardown-Reveals.aspx[/url<] [url<]http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2010/tc2010046_788280.htm[/url<] [url<]http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-Carries-$205-Bill-of-Materials-iSuppli-Teardown-Reveals.aspx[/url<]

      • ApockofFork
      • 8 years ago

      I agree with this entirely. The ipad has almost a 50% mark up over BOM. HP is going to find it really hard to convince a consumer that their product is worth as much as an ipad and justify that kind of margin. Conversely look at the asus transformer. No its not as beautiful or nice as an ipad but it keeps selling out (well there aren’t many of them but…) because its priced at $400.

      edit: oh and their hidden huge R&D cost = buying palm

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        I agree with TaBoVilla too, and I think both firms have room to lower those proces, but I ask you this: which company has more experience dealing with price competition, Apple or HP? Apple needs high margins to maintain their overhead, and they can’t afford to engage in a protracted price war, as it will hurt their image. HP, on the other hand, has a long track record of discounting as needed to ‘move boxes’, and in the retail channels that they dominate (Walmart, Sears, Best Buy, Target, etc), discounting and selling on price is not only a way of life, it’s an art form.

        And they’re Masters at it.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    Don’t underestimate the power of HP’s retail presence: they have major supply agreements with virtually every big retailer in the world. Furthermore, they have thousands of corporate clients ready to buy a tablet with better security than an iPad; their real competition in that space is RIM, who have stumbled slightly with their tablet. And say what you will about their bloatware (if you can be heard over my ranting about it, that is), they make quality hardware; their best is certainly on par with Apple’s best.

    They’ve also equipped the TouchPad with some pretty cool integration with their line of smartphones; the ‘tap-to-share’ capability has just enough ‘wow’ factor to catch trend-makers’ attention. And the 10″ TouchPad is being followed by a 7″ version to be released just in time for the back-to-school season.

    Their only real weakness is WebOS’s relative dearth of apps, but HP (and the former Palm unit) have been throwing major resources at that. Their development tool is truly first-class, and their plan to put WebOS on every PC they sell has certainly gotten the developer community’s attention. And it’s not as if WebOS doesn’t have [i<]any[/i<] apps; there's over 10,000 on the HP Store now, and how many apps do you really need? They've established major media agreements, and the music store combined with the 'Beats' (tm) audio may get a decent response in the teenage crowd (there's still some rebels in that age group who won't blindly buy a label). And finally, the iPad2 is still supply-constrained, and HP has their own supply channels. The TouchPad should sell well on its own merits, but it should also pick up a lot of sales to people who may have gone in looking for an iPad2, and simply aren't willing to wait. This will be especially true of anyone buying them as a gift for someone else. HP doesn't have to beat Apple right out of the gate; like RIM (and unlike virtually every other tablet manufacturer), they only have to establish a basic market-share foothold to be able to claim major success, because they have the long-term market staying power in both the retail and corporate space that firms like Acer, et al, can only dream of. EDIT: the link shows that the $599 pricing comes from WalMart. Two questions: 1.) how many iPads does WalMart sell? Conversely, how many people go to WalMart shopping for an iPad? 2.) when was the last time WalMart sold [i<]anything[/i<] at full retail?

      • mcnabney
      • 8 years ago

      So far, everyone ins the tablet market (excluding the Transformer) thinks they can act like Apple. They believe that the market has accepted the $600+ tablet price when in reality it has only accepted the $600+ Apple device price. While the Apple faithful have no problem opening their wallets (what recession?) the rest of the market probably can’t rationalize spending i5 notebook money on a device that will be outdated in 10 months. The Xoom got spanked over price and HP will too.

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        I humbly submit to you that the average WalMart/Target/Sears buyer wouldn’t know what an i5 is if it walked up and drop-kicked them. The figure shown there is just WalMart’s introductory list price; you’ll see them (and HP) discount them as needed to move them in volume.

        And I suspect they will indeed move in volume. Let’s see, WalMart has about 2,500 locations + another 600 Sam’s Clubs, there’s about 900 Sears stores, about 1,800 Target outlets, more than 1,200 Best Buys… Even if each of those stores only sold an average of one (1) TouchPad a day, that’s 7,000 per day. 42,000 per week (and that’s based on a 6-day week). 168,000 per month, 2 million a year… You get the point. And those stores are only [i<]part[/i<] of HP's retail reach. And those numbers don't even [i<]begin[/i<] to take into account their corporate sales force... HP is the first player in this new market to bring a compentent product to the wide-reaching retail arena. Other suppliers discount the potential of that reach at their peril.

          • mcnabney
          • 8 years ago

          I would be surprised if Walmarts could sell one per week.

          And Walmart is hardly a universal discounter. Walk into one right now and look at the phones (non-prepaid) that they sell for Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. They fall in line with online pricing from the respective carriers. Walmart sells plenty of cheap Chinese junk at low, low prices, but their electronics pricing isn’t far off from other vendors.

          And I don’t think that Walmart will sell many laptops for much over $600-700 dollars. A $600 tablet that doesn’t have a wealth of apps available isn’t going to catch too many sales.

            • indeego
            • 8 years ago

            It doesn’t need hundreds of thousands of crap apps, just several thousand very good ones. IMO the number of apps on the Android market and Apple markets are too many, there’s a LOT of crap to wade through if you are doing basic browsing.

    • wobbles-grogan
    • 8 years ago

    This wont be a success. Unless they price competitively (read: not the same) with regards to their biggest rival, this wont sell a lot.

    Silly marketers…

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      Maybe they assume there are entire markets that will never buy an Apple product, and the price point is…wait for it…sane and profitable?

        • Jigar
        • 8 years ago

        I don’t like to wait Barney.

        • Corrado
        • 8 years ago

        If you’re trying to break into a market, you either need to be VASTLY and OBVIOUSLY superior to the competition, or priced to get people to give it a shot. Not many people are going to buy @ the same price as the king of the current hill without knowing exactly what it is. And to know exactly what it is, you need to get it into peoples hands.

          • dpaus
          • 8 years ago

          Yeah, that was the main reason VHS failed against Betamax…
          [quote<]And to know exactly what it is, you need to get it into peoples hands[/quote<] See my point below about HP's retail reach. There's a hell of a lot more Walmarts (and Best Buys, and Future Shops, and Targets, and Canadian Tires, and Sears, and.. etc., etc.) than there are Apple Stores. [i<]That's[/i<] where and how you'll 'get it into people's hands'. And once you do, and they realize it does the same things, and that it's easy to use, and that it's already in their hands (instead of them having to go somewhere else to buy 'the real thing'), and that it's 'good enough'.... Many of them will buy it. And as I said below, that's all HP needs to achieve to succeed.

            • Peldor
            • 8 years ago

            You know the iPad is sold at Target, Walmart and Best Buy, right? You are overplaying HP’s retail advantage IMO. Everyone knows the iPad is hot, why are they even going to look at HP’s option?

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            ‘is sold at’ or ‘is in stock at’?? The former, yes, the latter, not so much.

          • trackerben
          • 8 years ago

          Combine competitive hardware with HP’s end-to-end strength in channels and you can’t discount the potential if a decent WebOS experience lands in reviewers’ hands. That’s how the iPad began its run. Marketing and incentives and tie-ins are the very things HP is savvy at. From reports the new tablets may be sufficiently different and evolved enough to be exciting and solid alternatives to both iOS and (especially) Android devices. For many that’s close enough of an argument to strike, and if the only questions left are on how pricing and promos work to stage expectations, any bad guesses at launch can be quickly remedied early in the sales cycle.

          If I were HP I’d push WebOS as the “like iPad, plays better with PC” thing. The choice of the PC-centric as well as the rabidly anti-iTunes. They could even sell the whole shebang as a “2 OS for the price of 1” deal, where you buy into a WebOS tablet experience and you get to download for free not just some media+app manager but a full-blown OS as a companionable dual-boot or even as just some nice frontend.

          • indeego
          • 8 years ago

          “If you’re trying to break into a market, you either need to be VASTLY and OBVIOUSLY superior to the competition, or priced to get people to give it a shot.”

          An example to counter: Android is neither. It simply offered more hardware choices than Apple, so people bit.

            • Corrado
            • 8 years ago

            To be honest, the only REAL competition to Android was iPhones. And they were on a terrible network. The fact that you could get an Android phone on Verizon and Sprint and T-Mobile made it a VASTLY superior product to most people. On those networks, its competition was Windows Mobile 6.x and BlackBerry OS5. Both of which were terrible. So my point still stands. It was a vastly superior option to most on the market due to the tie in of its only real competitor to AT&T. The iPad has no lock in to a particular carrier.

            • indeego
            • 8 years ago

            People aren’t leaving AT&T (or other networks) for Verizon in significant numbers, so it appears this wasn’t a pent-up demand issue.

            Android took off after November 2009 due to the Droid + marketing push. There are entire markets of people that don’t and will never own Apple products, and actively seek out alternatives. The problem with snarky marketing is you potentially piss off the market of people using the product(s) that you mock.

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