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HP Businesses The Almighty Buck

HP TouchPad To Be Liquidated At Fire Sale Prices 368

Hugh Pickens writes "According to an article by Tony Bradley, news is spreading quickly online that HP is going to clear out its vast TouchPad inventory by dropping the price to an offer you can't refuse. Rumor has it that beginning Saturday the 16Gb TouchPad will be $99, and the 32Gb TouchPad will be a measly $149. 'It is actually a fairly capable tablet. It's just not an iPad 2,' writes Bradley. 'For $500 it was a joke. For $300 it was still a shady deal. For $99 it's a steal.' HP has learned the hard way, and quickly pulled the plug on its tablet, proving that HP never had a solid tablet or mobile strategy and that it was really just looking for an excuse to get out. 'The reality is that my Best Buy is swimming in unsold HP TouchPad inventory,' adds Bradley. 'I went out tonight and picked mine up at the regular $400 price to beat the rush. Situations like this are why they invented price matching. I can just go back with my receipt once the fire sale starts and get the price adjusted and the difference refunded.'"
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HP TouchPad To Be Liquidated At Fire Sale Prices

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  • by v(*_*)vvvv ( 233078 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @02:05PM (#37155140)

    If you are in the industry and still think you can compete with Apple, you will end up like HP.

    The lesson here is not about solid engineering, eye-catching design, or pricing. It is about how to avoid contesting something that is in a league of its own, in the zone, and has become a force of nature. They're at Exxon levels. And to do that as a tech company that actually makes something is insane.

    Apple right now is Mike Tyson in his heyday. Many Tyson fans didn't follow boxing. They followed Mike. It's the same with Apple. Most people who bought an iPad don't even know the specs. The iPad commercial probably isn't what got them to buy it either. They simply don't care.

    HP spent a ton of money getting celebrities to do fancy commercials, and the design and specs of their Tablet isn't bad either. But it's too bad, because no one cares.

    Apple has gotten to the point where people just buy their products because everybody chants how great they are. If you dare step in the ring with them, they'll knock you the &%$# out and take everything you put into the fight.

    I am not an Apple fan, but it doesn't take one to see what is going on. If you understood the phenomenon that is Apple right now, you'd think twice before picking a fight.

  • Price Matters (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @02:06PM (#37155146) Homepage Journal

    This HP Touchpad Fire sale is the best lesson any Non Apple tablet manufacture should learn when it comes to tablet sales. The current Android tablet market is trying to command IPad pricing without being an Apple product. ICultists wont touch it with a 10 foot pole at any price because it's not made by Apple and everyone else that's on the fence is going to see the identical price and buy the Ipad because either they saw it on TV more / their ICult buddy recommended it and since they're priced the same might as well get what everyone else is talking about...

    HP goes out and announces that WebOS hardware is dead, lets it sink in for a day or two, then cuts the price down from $399 and $499 to $99 and $149 respectfully and sells out in hours even though everyone knows they're discontinued and WebOS has a shaky future if any. If that doesn't scream that the tablet was overpriced than nothing on earth will.

    Non Apple Tables are priced roughly $200-300 too expensive. Get them around $199-$299 and they'll sell like gangbusters just like it did for Android phones in the mobile market.

  • Re:Rumor? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @02:07PM (#37155152)

    Wow, if they had been willing to eat the cost and sell them at this price in the first place they might have been a contender.

  • by arisvega ( 1414195 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @02:29PM (#37155306)

    Under the risk of getting troll-modded, I have to respectfully decline this generous offer- HP hardware is and has been, to the best of my knowledge and experience, a piece of crap; a fact well in accordance with their customer support and "services".

    It is furthermore obvious from this recent expansion (read; migration) that they are very well versed into riding the surface tension of every new economic bubble, exiting just in time to screw their customers and maximize their profits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20, 2011 @02:29PM (#37155308)

    He never said Android == smartphones... He said Android was way ahead of iOS on smartphones.

  • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @02:45PM (#37155414)

    The lesson here is not about solid engineering, eye-catching design, or pricing.

    Yes it is. The iPad is a solid products and has become the touchstone. If you want to compete with something that's perceived as the tablet you have be either:
    - significantly better and the same price
    - at least as good at a lower price

    Sadly the TouchPad was neither. To bad too, I'd have liked Palm's progeny to at least survive.

    Most people who bought an iPad don't even know the specs..

    The vast majority of people don't know the specs of their PC's either. The great thing is that with tablets they don't have to. Tablets are bought on the following considerations: "Can I run the popular apps?", "Does it feel responsive?", "Does the battery last me at least a whole day of use?" The iPad kills on all 3 of these criteria. And what were the most often heard complaints against the Touchpad ? That it "felt slow" and there were no apps. No one except uber geeks cares about tablet specs.

    Apple has gotten to the point where people just buy their products because everybody chants how great they are.

    That's a myth. Apple users are some of the most critical around. That's why you keep hearing very vocal complaints about problems with Apple systems that impact a small minority of its users. And a lot of the new iPad/iPhone users who aren't traditional Apple fans would leave at the drop of a hat if something better came along. These are just regular consumers, not geeks, they go with what works.

  • by catmistake ( 814204 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @02:48PM (#37155454) Journal
    web browser
    address book
    calendar/appointments/alarm clock

    I got an iPad first week released. Love it. For all the development Apple has poured into iPad/iOS, all I have ever used it for is listed above. I'm recommending TouchPad to anyone that wants a tablet.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @02:51PM (#37155482) Homepage

    > How many Android phone were sold to people who wanted an iPhone but couldn't get one?

    Probably not so many.

    If you really want an iPhone, you can just switch carriers. It's not really that big of a deal. The market simply isn't that limited.

    There are multiple carriers and if you really want an iPhone that bad you can just switch.

    I dumped my AT&T iPhone for one of their Samsung Android devices.

    The shell script was really fun and all but it got old after awhile.

  • Re:I ordered 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @02:58PM (#37155552) Journal
    He's AC and he's obviously trolling saying something as stupid as buying "obsolete" hardware is wrong at any price. This is /., most of us probably have hardware we bought at one point that was obsolete just to tinker with.
  • by andydread ( 758754 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @03:04PM (#37155584)
    Sure many of them are because not everybody can afford an Apple product. And quite a few of them have better hardware that Apple's. Some are made in the same factory with the same sweatshop labor as Apple's. [foxconn] The fact remains that Android smartphone marketshare is almost triple what the iOS is worldwide and growing at a much faster rate than iOS. Back when Android was a fraction of Apple's marketshare Dear Leader Steve told his followers that there is no way that Android is going catch Apple in smartphone marketshare. 2 years later and we have this []
  • by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @03:05PM (#37155602) Homepage

    HP's Eric Cador said [], "In the tablet world, we're going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus."

    Even without hindsight making it look stupid... how the f*** can *anyone* utter such mindlessly silly drivel with a straight face? It sounds like a cross between something from David Brent in "The Office" and Homer Simpson.

  • by BeerCat ( 685972 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @03:08PM (#37155620) Homepage

    It's more like "don't bother competing with them on their terms"

    When the iPod first came out ("No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame"), everyone thought it was just about the hardware, so concentrated on the technical specs. By the time it was realised that it was about the whole "Here's a way to manage your music that's easier than doing it by hand", they'd already cleaned up. The problem is, that once one company is dominant, their "new model" is now the "old model", so merely doing the same won't work.

    It's not new either:
    Old model: buy a computer, and then install the operating system.
    New model: buy a PC, and the OS is pre-installed. (Microsoft's first big win)
    Competing on their terms and losing: buy an IBM PC, and get OS/2

    Old model: buy your preferred word processor (WordPerfect or WordStar). Buy your preferred spreadsheet (Lotus 1-2-3 or SuperCalc). Maybe buy a drawing / presentation program (DrawPerfect or Harvard Graphics)
    New model: buy a suite, and you get the wordprocessor, spreadsheet and presentation software for just over the price of one of them. (Microsoft's second big win)
    Competing on their terms and losing: WordPerfect Office, Lotus SmartSuite

    So, HP needed to do more than "tablet plus apps available", as that was just competing on their terms and losing.

  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @03:11PM (#37155636)

    If you really think that "anyone who has been married" views a hundred bucks as disposable, then I suggest you broaden your horizons a bit. The sort of people you have apparently met in your life are all spoiled fat cats, and it would do your perspective a world of good to be exposed to some normal people.

    Having plenty of money is fine. Not realizing that the overwhelming majority of people aren't so lucky is a serious character flaw.

  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@beau . o rg> on Saturday August 20, 2011 @03:19PM (#37155692)

    > But nothing is beating the iPhone. It just so happens that every competitor has the same OS.

    That is the same fanboy thinking (or lack of) that says Apple is beating the PC because they are (at times, depending on how you count...) the #1 selling brand. And if the competition is Apple vs. Dell Apple outselling Dell would make them #1, but that is a dumb way to look at the industry. It is Apple vs ALL of the Windows PC vendors and Apple is lucky to get into double digits when they only count retail sales, or just look at laptops or some other way to make Apple look bigger than they are.

    Android is soundly whipping Apple in the smartphone space. Most counts still have RIM beating Apple. Apple had a brief moment but it is fading. Now they are having another moment in the tablet space while Android catches up. But Apple has a critical limitation, the urgent need to make 50 points on every sale to justify their market cap that is currently only challenged by Exxon-Mobil. They are selling cheap consumer electronics made by Chinese slave labor just like everyone else, only they expect to make fifty points. That can only happen when they can catch the rest of the consumer electronics industry with their pants down, which they have proven their ability to manage a few times now. But it never lasts long.

  • Re:Best Buy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gregrah ( 1605707 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @03:30PM (#37155780)
    It's not like I'm being dishonest here. When I return the item to Best Buy and they ask my reason for returning I tell them up front "I didn't like the product" or "I found it for $50 less online" - and they've never cared.

    If they wanted to discourage this behavior they could do any number of things, like charging a restocking fee, offering to price match online retailers, or... and I know this is a stretch... just price things competitively to start with.

    The reason that they don't do any of these things is that Best Buy is all about the impulse buy. They don't want their customers to research reviews or shop for the best price. Instead they offer up the guarantee that you can price match the product later or return it if you are unhappy, and bank on the fact that most people are going to be too lazy to take them up on the offer.

    Don't hate me for being a rational consumer.
  • Re:Best Buy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Saturday August 20, 2011 @06:03PM (#37156792) Homepage Journal

    You were the kind of person we used to hate when I was in the hardware business; you'd 'rent' our hardware from the store, then return it and we'd then have to QA it again and sell it as a refurbished product.

    Were the subject any other retailer, I'd say it was despicable. But Best Buy? I figure they deserve pretty much whatever happens to them. Maybe I'd feel different if members of my immediate family hadn't bought expensive new-in-box electronics from them, then got them home to find that they were quite used and banged up.

    As soon as Best Buy loses its reputation for shady practices, borderline-retarded and flat out lying salespeople, and treating paid customers like shoplifters by attempting [*] to search sacks of purchased goods as people leave, maybe I'll be bothered to care what scams people [**] pull off against them. Until then, meh.

    [*] Boy, they get pissy when you decline their "offer" to search your stuff.

    [**] No, not me. I've happily avoided them altogether for over a decade. I wouldn't do those things because it's against my principals. I don't mind if you do, though, for much the same reason I wouldn't care if a pimp beat up a pickpocket.

  • by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @01:47AM (#37158926) Journal

    Difference between men and women:

    A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.

    A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item she doesn't need.

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan