Death of HP TouchPad is prime opportunity for RIM PlayBook

RIM should follow Microsoft's lead and find a way to embrace the customers and developers being left out by the WebOS tablet.
  • (PC World (US online))
  • — 25 August, 2011 00:51

Perhaps you've heard that the HP TouchPad tablet has suffered an untimely demise? There are a lot of lessons that rival tablet vendors can learn from the death of the TouchPad (and the feeding frenzy it created in its wake). More importantly, though, the loss of the TouchPad creates a prime opportunity for a tablet like the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Watching the demand for the HP TouchPad spike to Black Friday -- or even iPad launch day -- levels following a dramatic price cut, some believe that the path to tablet glory is paved in pennies. I don't agree that tablets need to be $100 in order to compete with the iPad, but I do think that the TouchPad frenzy illustrates the potential to use a deep discount as a marketing loss leader just to build a base that can fuel app development and sustain the device in the long run.

There is yet another lesson here, though -- a lesson that Microsoft jumped on right away. Along with the TouchPad, HP also pulled the plug on its WebOS smartphones. Microsoft recognized that the WebOS void means an army of disgruntled app developers, and implemented a plan to woo those WebOS developers to start creating apps for its Windows Phone 7 platform. Brilliant!

Therein lies the opportunity for RIM. RIM should take advantage of the fact that there are now a few hundred thousand people who just purchased a TouchPad tablet that is already defunct and obsolete, and offer a trade-in program to convert them to the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Sure, other tablet vendors could do the same, but the difference between Samsung, Motorola, Lenovo, HTC, and others versus RIM is that they are all building tablets for Android, while RIM is in a world all its own with the QNX-based PlayBook. Instead of pouring money into half-baked schemes for lame streaming music services, RIM should invest in converting TouchPad owners to PlayBook owners.

A vendor like Motorola could do a TouchPad trade-in program for the Xoom, but it would be taking a loss on its own hardware in order build momentum for the whole Android ecosystem. Perhaps it might make sense if Google took the initiative on a grander scale and funded the trade-in program letting customers trade TouchPads for any of the major Android tablets.

So, new TouchPad owners -- if RIM were to offer you a 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook for $200 if you trade in your obsolete TouchPad, would you do it? Including the cost of buying the TouchPad, you'd be spending $300 to get a tablet that retails for $500.

No? Would you do it at any price? Would you trade in your TouchPad for an Android tablet offering a similar promotion?

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Topics: HP, research in motion, webOS, tablet PC, hardware systems, tablets, RIM BlackBerry

Comments

jon

1

This is like the vhs vs. Beta, dvd vs. Laser disc, and more recently bluray vs. Hddvd. There will be a clear winner. In the case of tablets, maybe 2. Android and apple because microsoft could not get their act together. We are still too early to see clearly who the winners are.

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?