TouchPad offers lessons for tablet makers, sells out of Barnes & Noble
August 23, 2011 | 12:36 am
The aftershocks of HP’s $99 TouchPad fire sale continue to make themselves felt. On ReadWriteWeb, Dan Rowinski posts an op-ed looking at the lessons the tablet sale can teach. He touches on some of the same points I did yesterday, others are worth mentioning—such as when he points out that the lack of apps for WebOS does not necessarily mean purchasing the tablet is a bad idea. Perhaps spurred on by Apple’s in-app purchase stance, HTML5 browser-run apps are coming in a major way and, Rowinski notes, the TouchPad’s browser is the best one on any of the current crop of tablets.
He also suggests Amazon may be watching, with an eye toward coming up with a sub-$200 tablet that still offers the level of quality consumers have come to expect from the Kindle.
There is not an "iPad killer" device in any OEMs hopper. Nor will there be anytime soon. The great equalizer will be price. Amazon and to a certain extent Microsoft (with Windows 8) have actually benefited from waiting to enter the tablet wars. They now see the battlefield in front of them and what it will take to make an impact. Quality devices with reasonable prices. Then turn and make money through value-added services.
Meanwhile, it appears that in the TouchPad fire sale, Barnes & Noble got burned. B&N was participating in the fire sale, offering the tablets for slightly over $100 through its own web commerce portal—then it had to turn around and cancel and refund many of those orders, because it accidentally oversold the tablet. A number of unhappy B&N would-be customers have been posting their complaints to Twitter.
If you do manage to get a TouchPad, what do you do with it? Nate Hoffelder has compiled links to a few e-book readers in a post on eBookNewser. The tablet reads PDFs out of the box, and also features a Kindle app and a DRM-free multiformat app called pReader.