Is HP’s TouchPad Too Pricey?
Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad won’t ship until July first — a year to the day that HP closed its acquisition of Palm — but the naysayers are already lining up to voice their skepticism. To them, the device is too little, too late in a market with a bar set dizzyingly high by the iPad and its successor.
J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz was the first to fire off a critical note today. His argument: Pricing will be a key differentiating factor in the non-iPad tablet market and the TouchPad’s price point is simply too high.
“While we expect HP’s webOS platform to be a differentiating factor compared to the many Android tablets expected to reach the market, we do not think the price points on the TouchPad are aggressive enough to attract the incremental buyer from the iPad,” Moskowitz says. “We do not think HP’s pricing [is] good enough. The 16 GB and 32 GB TouchPads are expected to be sold for $499.99 and $599.99, respectively.”
A reasonable point. After all, those prices are identical to the ones Apple charges for corresponding versions of the iPad, a device that has dominated the tablet market for two iterations now. HP’s webOS ecosystem isn’t nearly as well developed as iOS, so it will be tough for the company to differentiate there. But with a lower price point — say $449.99 and $549.99, making it cheaper than the iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 — and an OS as slick as webOS? That might be a different story entirely.