Research firm Canalys recently sent a note to its clients that suggested HP might have better luck spinning off its PC business if it revived its webOS-powered TouchPad tablet. Canalys said the TouchPad could boost the value of HP’s computer division by as much as twofold, given the recent popularity of the tablet at its lower $99 price point. “The TouchPad was overpriced at launch and did not sell,” Canalys said in a note Thursday. “This led HP to draw a premature conclusion that the product category had failed.” Of course, the “hype” surrounding HP’s tablet likely had little to do with the tablet itself. Instead, a retail rush resulted from a fire sale and the media’s coverage of that sale. Read on for more.
Canalys suggested that the new-found popularity of the TouchPad could propel it to be the second most popular tablet in the United States with a 10% market share. “The TouchPad has become the ‘must-have’ technology product of 2011,” Canalys said. The firm seems to be neglecting the fact that all of this interest in HP’s TouchPad stemmed from the slate’s rock-bottom price, however, which is impossible to sustain. HP noted previously that selling its TouchPad inventory off at $99 a pop will cost the company $100 million.
“Perhaps no other technology vendor, apart from Apple, has ever created such hype for a technology product,” Canalys continued. “HP has established a lead in the race to be the number two behind Apple in the pad business but the window of opportunity will begin to close if delays occur.”