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HP Handhelds Hardware

HP Touch Pad Still Popular ... With HP Employees 131

Posted by timothy
from the they-were-there-when-it-happened dept.
Earl The Squirrel joins the army of Slashdot submitters, with a story that dampens my hopes to get one of the last (cheap) HP Touch Pads. He writes: "Today HP made available to their employees (via their EPP store) one last batch of HP Touch Pads. The response has been so overwhelming that if you go to the HP store right now, you'll get the 'Please try again later' page. HP employees have 'slashdotted' their own store."
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HP Touch Pad Still Popular ... With HP Employees

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  • ...specially considering how HP is being managed these days!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      HP employees probably wanna make as much cash on the side as they can now, knowing their impending unemployment.

    • by Weezul (52464)

      There is a fairly good analysis posted over in comments over on metafilter [metafilter.com].

      Basically, HP has always sold these blood-of-the-innocent printers for cultists who worship Cthulhu or whatever, but like all printer companies, they made the cartridges hard to refill. As you can imagine, that's a much larger problem for a cultist who needs the sacrifice dying right there.

      HP has tried to profit form this for years by sending employees out as 'sacrificial printing geniuses', but they needed an awful lot of employees

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29, 2011 @08:55AM (#37552504)
    Played with iOS and Android more than a little. The winner for best interface goes to WebOS, by a landslide. I didn't expect to like my Touchpad this much, but it's just leaps and bounds ahead of my Android and iOS stuff...

    Damnit, HP. Why must everything you touch turn to crap?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by spiffydudex (1458363)

      I agree, the interface is great for doing everyday tasks. Love the simplicity in the email client. The only thing I did was disable the logging and increase the CPU to its standard 1.5ghz. The Pad is rock solid and for around 250$ you can get a 32gb model second hand. Great Deal in my opinion. Some may comp,ain about the lack of apps. Yes, the WebOS store is young. However, Games aside, I haven't found an app that wouldnt do what I needed productivity-wise. Now with Cyanogen claiming they want to be able to

    • by strength_of_10_men (967050) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @09:37AM (#37552980)

      WebOS itself is pretty awesome, but the default browser needs serious work. It can't load any slashdot discussion past 100 comments without flaking out with rendering issues.

      And considering that browsing and reading are the two big reasons I wanted a tablet for, this is a pretty serious drawback to an otherwise excellent deal.

      • by Arrepiadd (688829)

        Maybe it's Slashdot who needs a bit of work and not the other way around.

      • by synapse7 (1075571)
        The palm pre I use to use and miss had no problem with /. comments.
        • Here's a screenshot [imageshack.us] of what happens on my Touchpad browser. If you have any suggestions, I'm listening.

          Maybe it's my /. preferences for threading... I haven't tried changing that yet.

      • by phorest (877315)
        Another thing with that web browser, is it has no real back button. Every page is fresh load and it does not change visited links to red. No home page either, seriously.

        Talk about sloppy...
    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      I'm in the same boat. Overclocked with F15C to 1.728GHz and the stability and sluggishness problems go away, without a horrible hit to battery life. Also a few other performance tweaks (less logging, faster transitions, etc.) and the thing really flies.

      I like it so much I'm selling my iPad.

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      Damnit I want one.
    • Another AOL-style post here. I'm still not sure I see the point of tablets, but the TouchPad is a really nice. HP sent me a free one to work on Objective-C support (clang can now cross-compile for the TouchPad and GNUstep's Foundation implementation runs there, but you still need a WebOS-native GUI).

      One thing that really impresses me is the battery life. I watched a 45-minute TV show from iPlayer on the TouchPad. After 45 minutes of streaming Flash video, the device still had 89% of its battery left.

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @09:00AM (#37552558) Journal
    Um, HP? Remember me? The guy that paid you $131.95 at 3am on August 21st? Yeah, haven't received my TouchPad yet and you haven't refunded my money. Every day you update it with a new ship date and delivery date, now it says Sept 27th ship date.

    How can you be selling these to your employees when you haven't even shipped the ones you still owe your customers?
    • by anerki (169995)

      Nobody said anything about shipping them to their employees either.

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      from Hewlett-Packard Hewlett-Packard@research.americas.hp.com
      reply-to Hewlett-Packard.6gqm6ckb6.d3s3@research.americas.hp.com
      to (removed)
      date Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 11:12 AM
      subject Important Update about HP TouchPad

      Dear Customer,

      Thank you for your interest in the HP TouchPad and webOS. The overwhelming demand for this product in recent days has made it difficult to fulfill your request at the present time, and we are working to make more available as soon as possible. While we do not yet have specif
      • by iamhassi (659463)
        Oops I forgot about this update:
        from Hewlett-Packard us-bulletins@customer.hp.com
        reply-to us-bulletins@customer.hp.com
        to (removed)
        date Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 12:18 PM
        subject Your HP TouchPad will be delivered in 6-8 weeks


        P Small and Medium Business Customer,

        Thank you for your interest in webOS and the HP TouchPad – the response to our price reduction has been overwhelming – both in terms of volume and in the energy and enthusiasm it has generated in our customers.

        It has taken us longe
    • so THIS is how they make up for it in volume!

      Take orders for 1.25 million @ $99
      Only have 250K in stock.
      profit!

      • HP engineers have figured out how to cluster all the remaining TouchPads and are now using them to mine bitcoins. I think those of us who have them on order won't get them anytime soon.
    • And at this rate, I fully expect an email reneging on my purchase based on some bullshit excuse. This will probably end in tears and useless class-action lawsuits.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @09:04AM (#37552596) Journal

    HP had just priced it out of the market.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      They charged what it costs plus a modest margin. Sometimes you're not pricing something wrong, it's just that there just isn't a rational price which makes for an easy sale.

      • I don't know about that. They priced it the same as the iPad, and then when it wasn't selling dropped it $100. I dare say, if they released it at $100 less it would have sold better, since the perception after the price drop was that no one willing to buy it.
        • by roc97007 (608802)

          Bingo. "They charged what it cost plus a modest margin" makes the huge leap of faith that Apple is also making a "modest margin".

          • by Alan Shutko (5101)

            No. Apple's making a nice margin on the iPad. But they can also make them more cheaply than HP can make Playbooks, because they have huge volume and have stitched up agreements with component manufacturers.

            • by geekoid (135745)

              And HP doesn't have a channel? please. You have NOTHING to base that statement on.

              • by DinDaddy (1168147)

                Are you really pretending to have seen none of the stories in the tech and mainstream press discussing how Apple has leveraged their huge supply of cash to get bulk component pricing agreements that no other manufacturer can match?

              • I take it you don't read Slashdot regularly. Apple buys insane quantities of flash for the iPods, iPhones, iPads, and now for laptops as well. They pay, in advance, for the entire production run from a factory for some period of time. The often even pay for some of the build costs of the factory. This gets them huge discounts. I don't know what they're paying now, but when the iPod Nano came out Apple was paying about half as much for flash as everyone else.
            • According to Google, HP Touchpad costs $306 [isuppli.com] to make while the iPad costs $260 [businessweek.com]. Of course it's all approximate, but at $499 it's clear they're being sold with about a $150 - $200 margin, which is pretty hefty in the consumer electronics market.

              Now it's speculated that Amazon is taking a $50 loss on each Kindle Fire. And you know what, they're going to sell a ton. A quote from my friend just now: "dunno why i want the kindle fire so much." I'll tell you why, because it's in impulse buy range. And if Amazon ca

              • Then there's Asus Transformer, which started selling for $399 (it can be had for $370 on Amazon now) - $100 below iPad. And clearly Asus wasn't selling that at a loss, since, unlike Amazon, they couldn't expect to recoup the losses by selling other goods and services through the device.

              • by mgblst (80109)

                You seem to believe that research, software, shipping and marketing cost nothing.

        • by Sockatume (732728)

          I don't think that $100 would've made a big difference. There are already $400 tablets, they're not much more of a success. The fervour with which people clamoured for a sub-$200 touchpad shouldn't be taken as a general indicator that any price cut would've made it a success. I think that wouldn't have kicked in until well beyond the break-even point for HP.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        "They charged what it costs plus a modest margin"
        which in no way disproves his point. Even if you sell it at cost, if it's past the consumer price point, it's been priced out of the market.

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      HP had just priced it out of the market.

      Maybe... but I can't help thinking that more people would buy a $700 tablet for $99 than would have just brought it for $99

      • by l0kl1n (1670272)

        I can't help thinking that more people would buy a $700 tablet for $99 than would have just brought it for $99

        That is a really good point. I think a certain amount of the frenzy for the TouchPad was the fact that people felt like they were getting a deal.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Apple locked most of the component suppliers into low-price contracts. Apple can get deals by buying 20 million screens/batteries/custom ARM CPUs/Gorilla Glass covers that you just can't get when you're buying 2 million. It's the same problem that Motorola and Samsung have with their tablets ending up more expensive than Apples

  • This just proved that those devices would go like bread and butter if sold from that price point. A manager needs to be stupid not to realize this kind of proof of concept.
    • The problem is that the BOM was something like 3x the sale price. A lot of ideas start looking real, real, good at ~30% of cost... That said, WebOS is an excellent tablet shell, I like mine(and would really hope to see some sort of ability to embed android apps into cards; but it makes android as a shell look like a toy in the 10' size.

      You can get something resembling a tablet for $99, actual price, but those tend to be pretty dire: low resolution screen with lousy viewing angles, resistive touch film, l
    • A manager needs to be stupid not to realize this kind of proof of concept.

      You do realise this is HP we are talking about here?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Problem is that the price at which they 'go like bread and butter' is also a price which results in a loss for HP and that's something HP isn't brave enough to stomach.

      What HP should have done is to sell the 16GB at $199 and absorb the losses for a while whilst building a user and developer base.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, the eBay price is the price point that tablet makers should be looking at. Turns out that many TouchPads are selling for about $200-$250. If I were Microsoft, I would be watching very carefully. Since MS is loaded with cash, why not sell the MS tablet for a loss so that you can create an instant community. Apple did this by being the first to create a usable tablet; the next table has to do something different to compete so why not use price?

    • HP just fired the hardware design team, so it won't be coming back from them. That said, they're looking to license WebOS, and I wouldn't be surprised if they'd throw in the designs for the TouchPad and Pre 3 to any ODMs wanting to license it, so we may see third-party TouchPads.
  • BeOS part two? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jtseng (4054) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @09:15AM (#37552732)

    It seems like webOS is going to die an undeserved death. It was conceived by a company too small to survive and came late into the game, and it will be killed by a company too stupid to know what it has and what to do with it.

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      It seems like webOS is going to die an undeserved death. It was conceived by a company too small to survive and came late into the game, and it will be killed by a company too stupid to know what it has and what to do with it.

      True. They could have kept it going for the cost of sacking half a dozen CEOs or so.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      No, WebOS will continue.

    • by mgblst (80109)

      Except Palm deserved to die, they fucked up too many times to be forgiven. Even in the early days, it took them so long to come out with a color device, a device with better power, a device with wifi, 3G, etc...

  • Most people I know don't even know what the touchpad is/was. I would honestly say HP didn't so a very good job marketing this thing, because it was just a whole lot of *shrugs shoulders*. Most people didn't even know what the Pre was, or that Palm was even a player in the market for the past 5 years. Tech saavy people know what's up, but the other 95% of the population never put much thought into palm post early-2000's. Palm's pre-Pre devices (no oun intended) were pretty much for the power user set.

    It's
    • by nschubach (922175)

      But they got all those actors to do the commercials where you couldn't see their face until the end.

  • 1. Sold a cheap TouchPad

    2. Played off the synergy of its desktops, phones, and TouchPads. It was cool how you could send a link from your Pre to a TouchPad just by touching the two.

    3. Profit!

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday September 29, 2011 @09:43AM (#37553052) Homepage

      Sounds like we have an MBA in the house.

      1. Sell your product at a loss
      2. Rely on "synergy"
      3. Profit!
      • by cayenne8 (626475)

        Sounds like we have an MBA in the house.

        Sell your product at a loss

        Rely on "synergy"

        Profit!

        BINGO!!

      • Sounds like we have an MBA in the house.

        1. Sell your product at a loss
        2. Rely on "synergy"
        3. Profit!

        An MBA who cheated in Finance... (like most MBAs, apparently)

    • It was cool how you could send a link from your Pre to a TouchPad just by touching the two.

      It would have been cool, but as I recall, you had to have a Pre3 for that, and those were released in the UK only, the day before HP announced it was killing off all WebOS devices. I wonder if anyone actually got a Pre3 and a TouchPad in a room together at the same time.

  • by axxter (128054)

    I'm sure I'm not the only South African who read the first part of the headline and wondered briefly why /. was commenting on the the SA vs Samoa match in the rugby world cup tomorrow ...

    • by Toonol (1057698)
      I'm sure I'm not the only South African who read the first part of the headline and wondered briefly why /. was commenting on the the SA vs Samoa match in the rugby world cup tomorrow ...

      Maybe not, but I can assure you no American had any such thought. I'm not sure any American could have that thought.
  • Touchpad vs. iPad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SoTerrified (660807) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @10:06AM (#37553348)

    I was one of the lucky few who got one of the $99 HP Touchpads in the store. And, as an iPad owner, I have to say... My iPad was gathering dust. I originally bought the iPad because I was sold on the apps. It seemed like there were so many and I could do anything! But it didn't take long to realize that doing any kind of involved work on a touchpad was slow and awkward. And soon I was just using my laptop for any of that. All I used the iPad for was web browsing, and watching video. Enter the Touchpad. For browsing the web? A superiour experience, as not only do I have flash, but I quite like the webOS cards for handling multiple browser windows. For viewing media? I have a homebuilt PVR that I use to record tv shows. They are recorded in a format supported by the Touchpad. So how much effort is involved in transfering my TV shows to the Touchpad? I just plug it in, the Touchpad shows up like a USB drive, and I transfer files. Compare that to having to run iTunes and open files and synch... The Touchpad is just so much more convenient. You can argue specs, you can argue "The iPad has apps!" But as an item filling a niche between laptops and smart phones and finding myself with access to both, I'm reaching for the Touchpad much more than I'm reaching for my iPad.

    TL;DR I never would've checked out the HP Touchpad except for the price. But now that I have, it has already displaced my iPad as a better product for my needs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by striker64 (256203)

      are you seriously surprised by this? The PC industry has spent years and countless man hours making things easy to use, yet still powerful for users like us to do whatever we want with the tech. Then comes along apple and tells us that the great progress we've made is all worth shit, we need isolated apps and don't need to interconnect any which device we want, who needs that stuff? And the general population eats it up like its a free krsipy kreme donut! Sure apple perfected the touchscreen and snazzy

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Style. Apple has style. That's why they are successful.

      • *sigh* It's not about the snazzy animations and perfect touchscreen. It's about the fact that it's a device that enables people to do "computery stuff" that without the fear they're going to screw it up.

        In other words, the perception from people isn't that it sucks because it's locked down or crippled. It's that it's simple to use because... well.. there's less stuff to get in the way. Less stuff to comprehend, but just enough to do what you want. (Complexity can come later once people get accustomed to wha

    • by microcars (708223)

      ... TL;DR I never would've checked out the HP Touchpad except for the price. But now that I have, it has already displaced my iPad as a better product for my needs.

      So now that you have used both, if you could go back in time, would you pay $499 (original list price I believe) for the Touchpad?

      • So now that you have used both, if you could go back in time, would you pay $499 (original list price I believe) for the Touchpad?

        I was questioning the value of my iPad at that price before ever looking at the Touchpad. For the value a tablet, any tablet, brings into my life, I don't think any tablet is worth $499 to me. So the answer is no. But that's with knowledge gained from owning an iPad and seeing what and where I'd use a tablet.

        However, I think if the Touchpad had been in the $249-$299 range, I would've paid that. That made $99 a no-brainer.

        If I was buying my first tablet and didn't know how I would use it, I admit that my

      • *Not* the parent of your post here either, but...

        Yeah, I would have. I got one from the fire sale, and the timing was perfect. Just days earlier, I was tempted to get an Android Transformer. Then after playing with a few tablets in the store, thought the Acer Iconia was the way to go. Then I thought maybe I should think some more and maybe wait for the ArchOS G9 to see what they turn out like.

        I played with a whole bunch of Android tablets for hours, and (being new to Android) I actually found them quite di

        • That Acer is the smartest hardware configuration on any tablet to date.
          A REAL FUCKING USB PORT. And it performs great and starts at 100$ under most similar products. Tough bugger too, that Dell tablet and the Galaxy pad have both broken from customer handling at the bigbox store where I work, but that Acer keeps on going despite getting more and more attention as the others fail.

          And did I mention it has a real fucking USB port? Because it has an actual, normal, regulation USB. To, you know, connect peri

    • by Anonymous Coward

      WebOS is constantly amazing me so much that I became infuriated using my Android phone. I picked up a Palm Pixi unlocked for pretty cheap. I have touchstones for both. The lack of charging cords is a killer app in its own right. As small as the app space is for WebOS, I find myself wanting for very few apps. Being able to use Flash eliminates the need for a TON of apps. Being able to make a web shortcut as an "app" eliminates the need for a ton more (a lot of iPad apps just do this). The thing I find myself

    • by Xurixis (988835)
      You need to do yourself a favor and shell out $7 for Kalemsoft Media Player on the HP app store. It will not only give your Touchpad the VLC-esque ability to play any video format you load on it, but there is a desktop client that dynamically re-encodes your local media files and streams them to the TP remotely. I've got a Backblaze box with 720p videos on it and I can watch them anywhere that there's wifi, its basically like having your own private netflix service without any content limitations. As long a
    • Can I have that old iPad of yours? I'd be happy to pay shipping if necessary, and hey better than it just sitting there gathering dust, right?

      • Can I have that old iPad of yours? I'd be happy to pay shipping if necessary, and hey better than it just sitting there gathering dust, right?

        Already sold to my cousin. But thanks for the offer. :)

  • I don't know why, but I am really surprised how many comments there are here along the line of "HP really should start making them again and sell them for $99 - they'd certainly be successful!". How can anyone not be aware the devices cost substantially more than that to produce?

    I bet Porsche would sell a lot more cars too - if they'd price them at $1000.

  • These are supposed to be utility devices that sit between your phone and laptop/PC. Who wants to pay laptop prices for a tool (that you might not use much) besides Apple zealots? Rather than pimping out $500 pads with more features, they need to figure out how to par the manufacturing demands down to $99-$149 dollar devices and let the consumers get a taste for them. That obviously makes them more appealing to the general public.

    • by dgatwood (11270)

      If they had done that two years ago, sure. At this point, Amazon has already figured out how to hit that price point, so HP has no prayer of competing unless they are willing to sell at a loss to undercut Amazon. HP took too long to get its act together, and now it's simply too late to fix things. The wedding party arrived and the doors were closed while they were out getting oil for their lanterns.

      Now that Amazon is in the game, about the only two things HP can realistically do with WebOS that might hop

  • At a higher price. They should see the Touchpad version 1 as the promotional for the second version of the Touchpad. There are so many people who have purchased Touchpads now that there is now a market for WebOS apps unlike earlier.. and also there are enough people who have used Touchpads to know that HP can make a very decent tablet.

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