There was a valuable lesson learned in the demise of HP’s WebOS tablet. Price matters.
In iPad met its match in the TouchPad
Cnet’s Brooke Crothers discusses that the blowout sales matched the passion and excitement of an Apple product. WebOS “wasn’t really a product failure, it was a pricing failure.”
I confess that I wanted one too, for $99 it would be great for movies and email – forget the other apps. But Cnet post points out that HP could have just sold them for $99 initially instead of its huge marketing campaign. At least for initial traction, frenzy, and grassroots advertising. Or, as may be the case with the upcoming Amazon Kindle padlet, use the Gillette strategy or giving (or subsidizing) the razor/tablet in order to make money on the blades/books.
Those HP pads sold like crazy. It was really hard to get one, there were crowds and lines at the stores and the phones were ringing off the hook. All that, with only 12 hours notice of the blowout sale. No pad/tablet has been able to take on the iPad, but HP may have inadvertently exposed iPad’s vulnerability.
I think it would be interesting if Amazon sells a pad for say $500, with $400 of credit toward Kindle books. That just might have legs.
Expect major pricing pressure from the next generation of tablets.