Hewlett-Packard has traditionally focused on manufacturing personal computers but recently jumped into the tablet market by producing a WebOS-enabled TouchPad with several features such as 9.7 inch in size, Wi-Fi connectivity, LED backlit display, and an option of 16GB or 32GB of storage space. The introduction of this device into the consumer-oriented tablet market provided an alternative to the Apple IPad. The main marketing aspect of the WebOS device is the ability to multi-task i.e. open several applications at the same time and then flick back and forth. For business users, this device provides support for data security features, over-the-air management, and Exchange ActiveSync and VPNs. Generally, HP’s first tablet into this consumer-oriented market is not a bad device though cracks begin to emerge when the equipment is compared with others in the market. One of the major strategies the company adopted to sell the product was giving its tablet away almost free through an undercut price in attempts to shake up the market. However, these strategies were not effective since HP was forced to discontinue the product because of sluggish sales.
Launch of the Device:
During the launch of HP tablet, Hewlett-Packard stated that the device was part of its plans to put its software, WebOS, to wider use (Prigg, 2011). The company also stated that this device was more than just a tablet because WebOS was the cornerstone of HP’s strategy. The software is expected to work on other equipments produced by the firm such as personal computers and printers. Notably, the creation of this tablet was based on the mobile operating system that HP acquired when it purchased Palm in 2010. This device was expected to be a major competitor to Apple IPad because of its features, ability to multi-task, and the pricing strategies adopted by the company.
Nonetheless, HP did not achieve much success with the launch of this product that was characterized with sluggish sales to an extent the firm discontinued the equipment. Even though the WebOS mobile operating system has some flares of finger-friendly brilliance that made it more appropriate for a tablet, the TouchPad had some major shortcomings. HP TouchPad suffered from awkward design, poor app selection, and performance lags (Perenson, 2011, p.52). While the device’s operating system differentiates itself with clear language and color-coded buttons, it worsens the operation of the tablet by continuing the slow-response trend. As a result of these shortcomings, Hewlett-Packard discontinued its TouchPad tablet barely two months after the launch of the device, which is the fastest tap out in high-tech history (Marlow, 2011). The company admitted that sales of the TouchPad were not meeting its expectations since WebOS devices had not obtained adequate traction in the tablet market.
HP’s Decision to Cut the Price: