Were we all Punk’d by HP?


So HP are doing another run of TouchPad hardware. Was this all an elaborate marketing stunt?

I was on a roll when I made these graphics

In macroeconomic terms, dumping refers to when a company floods a new market with products at unprofitable prices in order to establish a presence. Foreign companies flush with cash are able to sustain this long enough to drive local businesses bankrupt, and are then able to own the market and set the prices. Most free market economists consider dumping to be the only valid reason for protectionism, unless they're Libertarian.

While it's tempting to think HP have done this with the TouchPad, it fails on three counts. No wait, four counts, I'm not Discovery News!

  1. Despite the firesale of devices, TouchPads still only count for a tiny fraction of the tablet market. Granted people who own Palm devices give the brand exposure, but there simply isn’t enough of them for it to be considered a "flooding".

  2. While it would be a masterful stroke of genius to let people think a product is dying only to have it brought back with artificially increased marketshare, we’ve seen no evidence that HP’s marketing departments are savvy enough to have created the concept and pulled it off.

  3. There’s also no evidence to suggest HP’s revolving door executives are creative or forward thinking enough to have instigated such a plan. Mr Apotheker was the former CEO of SAP, so we know where he stands on consumer devices.

  4. I’ve read reports the reason why they’re manufacturing more devices is due to their hardware suppliers having quotas or obligations to fill, or they have excess inventory. I’m not entirely sure that makes sense either, but it seems more likely than HP suddenly learning how to do marketing.

In Soviet Tablets, web OS-s you

While I'm all for looking deeper into the meaning behind corporate decisions and doublespeak, in this case I really am willing to believe HP retired Palm hardware due to a lack of sales. I've lamented this many times here given my belief webOS was the best mobile OS ever developed.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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