Now that its purchase of Palm is complete, Hewlett-Packard
All Things Digital is reporting that HP's new tablet -- the one powered by Google's
Here we go again, HP.
You may remember the HP Slate. Steve Ballmer was brandishing a prototype back in January, gushing about the pairing of HP's touchscreen tablet with Microsoft's
Well, that device was given a springtime axing. Instead, HP would concentrate on an Android-flavored tablet.
It seemed like a prudent move at the time. Android is open source, so it's a lot cheaper than licensing Microsoft's operating system. Android is also giving Apple's
Nope. It's time for Plan C at HP. It's likely the printing and computing giant will now concentrate on making its Palm webOS tablet operating system. If successful, this could be huge for HP. Instead of cranking out Android tablets like everybody else could, it would take a page out of Apple's playbook as the lone source for webOS tablets.
It's a blueprint that looks good on paper, but is crummy in application.
For starters, the clock continues to tick.
With Apple on pace to sell more than a million iPads every month, every day that a rival tablet isn't on the market results in a growing gap of tens of thousands of iPads sold that day. It's hard to fathom someone taking on Apple, especially if they miss the 2010 holiday season.
The second drawback to HP's strategy is that Android sells. With my apologies to Palm Pre and Pixi owners, history shows that webOS does not. HP's mighty marketing muscle will certainly improve its chances. It's also easy to understand that HP would rather give it a go with its own webOS than strengthen the position of a rival with Android support. However, at the end of the day, consumers will crave Android and Windows 7 tabletry if they want a proven alternative to Apple's iPad.
If HP focuses too narrowly on webOS, it would let Dell
Yes, Apple was once in a similar position. But even it realized the need to reach the masses by making sure that iTunes also ran on Windows as a way to turn the iPod into a mainstream hit that triggered the company's renaissance.
P.S.: You're no Apple, HP.
Is HP really trying to be Apple Lite? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is starting to see more smartphone products creep into his home, but he does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.