Since I am one of them, I believe that there is a market for people who just don't like Apple's way. There is plenty of competition for that market and someone should try to claim it.
I think someone should spoof the old 1984 Superbowl commercial and portray Apple as "Big Brother".
I wish HP well and believe there is still a chance for them. I still have a soft spot for Palm which in my opinion started it all off by bring the first successful PDA to the masses. Palm stayed with a focus on a useful product while Apple went for what looks pretty first, useful second. Personally I prefer useful over pretty and wish my iPhone did some simple things of my Palm of years ago could do (notes with categories, and a calendar that can schedule first Monday of month type of events and show events more meaningfully that a dot). I believe if HP can find the right blend of useful and pretty they will have a chance.
The actual tablet hardware is moving to commodity status so fast that it is going to be practically impossible for any company to establish a lasting dominant position based on that. I would bet that none of the carriers are going to be able to differentiate tablets on their respective networks effectively either, although they are certainly trying to do so. Operating systems and applications / content are probably the most important right now, but HTML5 might genericize that pretty soon. I've really got to wonder who is going to end up dominating this space, if anyone.
Completely agree that HP is biting off a very tough marketing problem.
eewiz (above) seems to be proposing HP buy market share or compete on price. Naa. Bad business idea.
HP needs to include something that all or at least most of the others aren't or can't offer. I have no idea what that is. Apple already has "cool factor" as well as functionality. "Better" customer services isn't it either. Good luck HP!
Well, everbody deserves a chance.
Let HP make their fight. I think they have the resources and strength to do so.
It'll be interesting to know the marketing strategy that they decide upon. I do hope they see eewiz's suggestions.
Actually I think 'hp' as a brand in mobile phones will project very much hardware-centric, and that to me is a differentiator. I think they have something there...
Rick, nice summary of the challenges HP faces in joining the mobile battlefield.
I think eewiz had some excellent suggestions for HP (#6 would be nice!).
iOS now has such a huge number of apps (over 400k) that the number is no longer meaningful, and Android is starting to get there with over 100k apps.
Newcomers jockeying for 3rd place (RIM?) and beyond have got to entice app developers to do that porting, otherwise they just have another sexy hardware platform that can make calls, browse the web, take pictures and videos, and do a handful of other basic computing and personal organizing tasks. We are WAY past the point where that is sufficient.
OK, I'll give them a marketing idea. The Handy Palm... OK, sorry about that. Seriously, they've got some work to do. I flopped back and forth between palm and windows CE/mobile for years. In december I got an Android 2.1 device and it is pretty well groomed together. But really it's not that differnt from IOS and the "old" palm platform, in my hands. The zillion apps really make it fun and interesting. That's what HP will need to do. Make it fun and interesting. Eye candy is currently what sells the higher end phones. HDMI out, large screens, high resolution, responsiveness, etc...
This will be a hard journey for HP. Unlike in the case of Nokia, HP doesnt have any instant market share to push the new OS. And without market share its hard to get app developers to bother about the platform. And without apps, its hard for HP to lure customers for a webOS tablet.
To break the deadlock HP should
1) Bribe & Lure the developers at any cost; competitions,app challenges with big prizes could work.
2) Give 100% of the app revenue from WebOS store to the developer for first few years instead of the 70% like in Apple App store & Android Market.
3)Tight integration with HP laptops/desktops to tap on to existing PC marketshare. Like autosync files/contacts/songs/settings through cloud.
4)Give discounts for tablets to buyers who buy HP notebook/desktop PCs.
5)Sell the devices at lower prices in developing markets, where market share can be easily gained based on pricing.
6)....oh yeah.. donate free tablets to all people who comment on EETimes :)