HP Launches Touchpad on August for Australian

Wednesday, August 3rd 2011. | Hardware News

HP’s TouchPad, which is advertised as working “like nothing else”, actually works like a cross between an iPad, Android and Playbook while coming in for a US price cut.

The TouchPad has also come in for a much-needed OS update that helps to speed up the system somewhat and lessen the sensitivity of the TouchPad’s previously trigger-happy accelerometer.

Although there’s no word yet of any Australian price cut, this is hardly a surprise – there’s still 12 days to go before the TouchPad officially goes on sale down under.

HP actually decided to launch the TouchPad in the middle of August for Australian customers because it was waiting for that OS update to drop, both ensuring Australians get a better launch-day experience while raising questions why HP didn’t likewise wait in the US until its OS was slightly better updated first.

That said, the launch happened, and while HP did cop some flack for its WebOS not being as polished as it obviously could have been had a few extra weeks been factored in to the US launch, at least the TouchPad is now out there and fighting for its life amonst a tumultuous sea of tablet competition.

Sadly there’s still firm date for any launch of HP’s WebOS-powered smartphones in Australia, which is a shame considering how nice WebOS is on a phone.

There’s also concern in Australia that HP has only chosen one launch partner, the Australia-wide Harvey Norman chain.

While HP has said it hopes to have the TouchPad sold wherever HP equipment is currently sold, that’ll clearly take some time to eventuate, while the iPad 2 and other tablets are, comparatively at least, on sale everywhere.

So, is a price drop coming to Australia, too? It’s hard to say for now – most likely HP and Harvey Norman will want to be as competitive as they can without giving too much hard fought margin away, especially seeing as Harvey Norman are the margin kings of Australia, if not the world.

Apple is the other margin king out there, with any Apple price drops few and far between.

However, if Android, WebOS and Playbook sales don’t start picking up in numbers soon, the predicted tablet price wars will likely come sooner rather than later as all aim for as big a bonanza of Christmas sales as possible.

Until then, if you want to touch up a TouchPad, you’ll just have to wait a bit longer for August 15 to roll around.

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