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And the ‘must-have’ tech product of 2011 is… HP’s TouchPad?

September 15th, 2011 at 1:15 PM

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.”

HP has suggested that it may resurrect its TouchPad business and said in early September that it was building one last batch of the tablets.

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