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Sunday, 21 August 2011

HP's tablet surrender: A sign of trouble for Apple's rivals

Using a tablet can be a lot of fun. Making one? Not so much.

Just ask Hewlett-Packard Co., which this week killed its TouchPad tablet computer barely two months after its launch, in one of the fastest product culls in high-tech history.

The significance of the move was lost in corporate turmoil as HP announced a reorganization on Thursday that included a likely spinoff of the world’s largest personal computer division. But HP’s decisive obliteration of its tablet effort, and discontinuation of its mobile operating system, webOS, is a fairly good indicator of what it’s like to go up against the mighty Apple Inc. and its iPad, which dominates the tablet category with about 30 million sold worldwide.

In Canada, nine out of 10 tablets are iPads, says Kaan Yigit of Solutions Research Group, a Toronto-based consultancy. “The dominance of one brand in a tech category like this seems unprecedented,” he said.

Still, “HP’s exit is the fastest tap out I have ever seen.”

While the iPad has sold remarkably well, other devices in the nascent product category have not seen anywhere near the same success. HP’s dismal sales, despite endless discounting, is proof of that: There are reports that Best Buy has sold less than 10 per cent of its inventory, and still has around 250,000 TouchPads on its shelves. And Research In Motion Ltd.’s botched launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which lacked key features, is yet further proof. And that speaks to a new reality in the category: The companies that do best are those that launch products with an established software system, like Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android.

READ MORE AT: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/tech-news/hps-touchpad-exit-fastest-tap-out-i-have-ever-seen/article2135898/


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