HP Touchpad was Dead? NO, Here’s The HP Touchpad’s Way to Keep Live

Friday, August 26th 2011. | Gadget News

The HP TouchPad is dead, but that hasn’t prevented it from springing to life in zombie-like fashion despite having never found legs during its brief seven week lifespan. The ill fated tablet has really only found post-dated popularity because any product which has its price slashed by four-fifths is going to see some degree of retail flare-up. That has Hewlett Packard attempting to milk the situation until every last bit of leftover TouchPad inventory has been shoveled out the discount door. But it’s coming in the form of empty promises such as “We’ll try to find a buyer for the TouchPad’s webOS operating system (even though no will ever buy it)” and “We promise to keep delivering more $99 TouchPad units to Best Buy shelves (until we’ve gotten the last of that the leftover inventory out of our warehouses).” There are, however, four things which HP’s CEO could do which would actually breathe a tad bit of life into the product rather than merely fanning the flames of the TouchPad as it finishes crashing and burning:

Fire Jon Rubinstein: The guy’s a technical genius, as he proved during his years at Apple. He’s also a horrid businessman and he’s deaf to the desires of anyone outside the geekdom, as he proved during his tenures at Palm and Hewlett Packard. There’s plenty of blame to go around for the failure of the TouchPad, but the fact that his webOS operating system is something only a geek could love is a big piece of it. HP could run him out of town and put webOS in the hands of someone within the company who understands that most consumers aren’t geeks. Switch to Android OS: If webOS isn’t something HP wants to try to salvage, it could do the obvious: switch the TouchPad over to Google’s free Android operating system. It’s the same OS which currently runs on tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and while Android tablets aren’t knocking the iPad 2 off its pedestal, they are selling respectably – something which the TouchPad never did. It would also allow HP to continue selling a tablet without having to invest a dime in developing the OS, and it would inherit the Android app store for free. Come to think of it, why didn’t HP just do this from the start?

Make more TouchPad accessories: One of the ways you know the iPad is dominating is that accessories are being sold for it on every street corner. One of the many things which held the HP TouchPad back was the fact that finding something even as simple as a form-fitting case was easier said than done. HP could come back swinging with a relaunched TouchPad and its own line of peripherals. After all, HP is primarily known among consumers as a peripherals company (printers, scanners, etc). Why not make a line of flashy peripherals for its own tablet?

Give up after all: Come to think of it, HP may have made the correct decision after all. Firing Jon Rubinstein would leave no one at the company who even understands how or why webOS is what it is. Switching to Android OS would invite a nearly automatic lawsuit from Apple, who will say that the TouchPad is just as much of a hardware copycat as the Galaxy Tab; Apple ostensibly never bothered to sue HP over the webOS-based TouchPad because it was likely going to flop anyway. And a few more TouchPad cases on the market isn’t going to save a sinking ship. There’s no escaping the fact that even with HP’s marketing muscle and retail presence, and even with the rising tide of exploding tablet popularity in general, HP had to cut the price of the TouchPad by eighty percent before consumers were even willing to stand next to it. That means the TouchPad was entirely the wrong idea from the start. Here’s more on the HP TouchPad.

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