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HP Drops Price Again For Its WebOS-Based iPad Challenger

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the must-be-that-damn-apple-tax-at-work dept.

HP 296

oxide7 writes with this selection from IBT: "Hewlett Packard reduced the price of its TouchPad tablet computer again, highlighting the uphill battle manufacturers will need to overcome as they go head-to-head against the dominant Apple iPad line of tablets. Much of a tablet's success is based on the ecosystem of apps that is available to the end-user. HP is far behind Apple or even the No.2 tablet platform, Google's Android."

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Obligatory Robocop reference (3, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37013944)

"I'll buy that for a dollar!"

Apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37013946)

Are there even third party apps for this tablet? Selling it as a email/web/video playbook device doesn't do it much good if there's no third-party functionality available.

Re:Apps? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014036)

The only 3rd party app I would really miss having on my Droid is Kindle.

momentum (3, Insightful)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37013952)

There was a time many tech users and writers were excited about WebOS. I have read many reviews claiming it was possibly the best OS, compared to iOS and Android at the time.

But HP has taken an extremely long time to ship anything running WebOS. They have a tablet out, but still have not shipped a phone with competitive hardware.

They lost their momentum......

Re:momentum (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014046)

Even worse, they've lost mindshare among developers.

Anecdotal example, but my missus saw a tablet ad last night (RIM Playbook, IIRC), and asked about getting one. I replied that we could, but it doesn't have a lot of the games and apps she wants just yet (though they probably will). Her response was pretty instructive about impulse buying: "Well, tell me which ones have them, and we'll get one of those instead."

I talked her out of it (her laptop is less than a year old, FFS...)

Re:momentum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014112)

Why don't you want her to have a tablet?

Re:momentum (3)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014194)

More time spend on a screen = less sex maybe...

Re:momentum (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014262)

OTOH, not buying your girlfriend gifts tends to get you lots of sex.

Re:momentum (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014732)

Then maybe we should buy gifts that doesn't consume their time? Perfume, jewelry, etc. But no tablets !

The Curse of HP (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014896)

anything they touch turns to sand.
They could have written the book on 'How to take over a profitable business and destroy it' or 'Business Destruction for Dummies'.

I should know, having worked for them for 20+ years and seen it all happen.
Now I'm an HP Pensioner my opinion of them is that they couldn't make a decent product to save themselves.
It is a shame really. Once upon a time the was a lot of really good talent there but the Dilbert PHB says everything you need to know about HP management,
Carly was known as the 'Wicked Witch from Elbonia' in my former group (which she disbanded despite increasing business by 25% year on year).

Tablets are massively overpriced (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37013972)

Apple can get away with a huge margin because they're the market leader and quite frankly, Apple fans have too much money. More rational customers don't see why a tablet should cost more than a netbook, which has a more expensive and more powerful processor, more RAM, a hard disk and is comparably small. When a UK based charity can throw together a $25 ARM computer, why does slapping on a touchscreen and a battery make a tablet 20 times as expensive? It simply shouldn't. Bring the price down to less than $200.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (3, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014020)

You can buy a $99 tablet at Walgreens. Of course, it's a piece of shit compared to the iPad, but if you really want a cheap tablet, they are available.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014082)

There's also an assortment of them down to maybe $79 now on DealExtreme, free shipping on a slow boat from China. Actually, it comes by air, but you couldn't tell by how long it takes to show up. Some of them are actually quite credible, DX has relatively uncensored fora so it's relatively easy to find which ones they are.

That reminds me, I need to see about reporting some defective Foakleys.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014388)

You can buy a $99 tablet at Walgreens. Of course, it's a piece of shit compared to the iPad, but if you really want a cheap tablet, they are available.

It's a piece of shit compared to the iPad, quality Android tablets, HP's WebOS tablet and RIM's Playbook. It's even crap when compared to other low-end craptastic tablets (either 'dime store' Android offerings hacked together from second rate parts and companies, or other Android wanna-be's). At some point the value to the consumer will become the yardstick upon which purchases are based. The real question is will other players (besides iOS & Android) survive the lack of apps and features in their current crop of offerings. WebOS has a lot of upside, and Playbook needs to handle web, email, etc without pairing with a separate Blackberry.

Consumers are impatient and fickle, but they also have relatively short memories.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014968)

Agreed. Although I think it's fair to point out that everything could magically change tomorrow. It wasn't long ago that Apple wouldn't even try to play in this space because of the massive failure that was the Newton.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014464)

>You can buy a $99 tablet at Walgreens. Of course, it's a piece of shit compared to the iPad..

Well yes, $99 is pushing the envelope a little. But seriously, why can't hardware on par with an iPad or more important a Xoom be sold for $199-$250? For $250 you can buy a new, not discontinued, netbook. It has a 10" display, an expensive, battery sucking Intel CPU, a Windows license and a more complex housing including a pointer and keyboard. Compare to a tablet that replaces the Intel Inside with what is supposed to be a cheaper ARM based SoC solution, replaces Windows with Android and a tablet with an Arm uses smaller (and cheaper) LiPo slabs for batteries. On the plus side it adds a touchscreen and accelerometer and if it has 3G you usually get GPS as part of the phone plan. Why does the tablet cost so much more? A lot of people who aren't able to run the bill of materials just look at the two and know one is jacked up beyond what it should be; they are right.

Thus the only ones buying are the ones immune from price effects, or more bluntly, the iDrones. And everyone else is left wondering why they can't move product as fast as China can deliver it and make insanely great margins too. Guys, you can't, get over it and compete the only way anyone has ever competed with Apple, sell at price points they refuse to compete with and drive the bastards back into their single digit boutique niche.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014024)

"Bring the price down to less than $200."

Computer businesses want to preserve margin. That's why they don't keep producing older models and dropping the price. Anyone not liking that can buy a used machine instead.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (3, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014070)

Apple fans have too much money, huh? That must explain why many of the iPad competitors actually cost more?

The fact you are, 1) calling the iPad a "tablet", and b) comparing its hardware specs to a netbook, tells me you don't get what makes the iPad the dominant device in its segment.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (1, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014092)

you don't get what makes the iPad the dominant device in its segment.

Marketing?

What is it if not a tablet?

(posted from my Xoom :)

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (-1, Troll)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014202)

I guess your sig says it all on this one.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014480)

The iPad is a good product because it's well *designed*, and once again not just the hardware, but the experience of using it. Apple is *good* at that part of a product. Others seem to copy the idea, but fail in the proper implementation of the concept. A lot of time they focus on spec lists, cost or miss the point in some other way.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014270)

the ipad is not a tablet, it's a rectangular slab of magic !

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014352)

The iPad is a tablet. I'm not sure what else you could possibly try to call it.

It's somewhat reasonable to consider tablets specs to netbook specs, in that they're often used for similar tasks. Not a lot of heavy lifting going on with either.

And there are lots of reasons why the iPads are hugely dominant. They're good products and all, but not least of which is a great track record with their previous (and somewhat similar) devices. Virtually no one who owned an iphone 4 is afraid to own an ipad too, if they're in the market for a tablet.

I mean, I wouldn't be the first to say the iPads are really just large iPhones, without the phone. It's not a hard sell for most folks.

You're funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014300)

Before the iPad was officially announced, there was speculation it would start at $1000. And people were ready to buy it at that price point. The fact you can get them now for less than half of that is amazing.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014466)

This is informative? A post laden with Apple stereotypes and a comparison of hardware without taking into account software and Q&A testing? Also a comparison between a charity to a business? There's a reason why the iPad costs more, the hardware and software is top notch over anything else.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014562)

OK, I'll throw in a software comparison for you: Windows: $$, Android: free.

Also, I suppose netbooks are sold without any Q&A, so you might have a point there: A device with no moving parts and much fewer buttons and internal connectors is certainly going to have a higher Q&A cost.

If you think that everything above $200 is not margin, YOU are part of the reason why these things still cost too much.

Re:Tablets are massively overpriced (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014986)

> Apple can get away with a huge margin because they're the market leader and quite frankly, Apple fans have too much money.

There is more to the computer then just hardware and software young grasshopper. There is the User Experience, ergo, a consistent and well-designed UI for a touch device, or I should say, lack of them, is what makes all the other touch devices look like toys compared to the iPad. You are paying for Apple's brand because you are paying for (relatively) good UI design.

Repeat after me:

- Consumers, counter-intuitively do NOT want choice (1) which is why Android's fractured hardware is a hindrance.
- Consumers, for the most part, don't give a shit about tech specs. Look at the demographics at WHO is buying the majority of iPads: people > 40 years. They just want something that works.

(1) http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html [ted.com]

What good is a phone if you can't speak? (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37013974)

Until there is a robust application ecosystem for the tablet, it will remain niche. Who cares if you save $100, but you can't do anything fun with it? Hundreds of apps - even if they're all good - means very little competition on pricing and features, and lots of black market segments (insert fart app joke here). It the reason I skipped the android tablets this past spring - a dearth of full screen apps.

Re:What good is a phone if you can't speak? (0)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014040)

"You bought an HP TouchPad early on and now youâ(TM)re fuming over recent price cuts? HP hears you, and they want to sooth your wounded ego, so theyâ(TM)re going to give you $50 of credit for the App Catalog. How cool is that?"

Not cool enough for me to give a shit. Let the early adopters fume if they like. I'll not be buying an HP.

Re:What good is a phone if you can't speak? (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014746)

I am posting this from my Xoom right now which has 101 apps installed on it all but one of run full screen. incidentally, I'm presently being dunned to update to 3.2 so that last lagard app will also run fullscreen. I've had this thing since February and it is the extreme exception for something not to run fullscreen. Whwn i see that, I chuckle and promptly uninstall.

Re:What good is a phone if you can't speak? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014842)

While this is true, I,ve had a tablet for a few months and I'm still looking for something useful to do with it beyond web surfing and family calendar.

Sure, I play casual games and watch Netflix, but the productivity apps generally aren't productive - at least when compared to even any PC, laptop, or Timex Sinclair :-)

My point is that people buy the tablet with the most appps, but end up using it for surfing 70% of the time, calendar 10%, and casual games 15%, Netflix 5%. It seems silly to get too hung up on buying the "right" tablet when none of them are really useful.

Finally, a cluestick (2)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37013982)

Folks, if you want to beat iXYZ (of which I'm not a fanboi):

1. You have to have better hardware
2. A lower price
3. Or both (best)

Otherwise, why would anyone move to your platform?

That said, WebOS [precentral.net] is an awesome open-sourceish platform. It looks great too, and it's easy to make apps.

I hope it gains traction to preserve some sanity in the marketplace and prevent a total Steve Jobs monopoly.

I see it as a partner, and not enemy of Android in this endeavor.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (2)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014028)

1. You have to have better hardware 2. A lower price 3. Or both (best)

Some Android tablets already have both. Seems like some items are missing on that list.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014126)

Better Software?

Re:Finally, a cluestick (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014132)

Care to give some examples? And when you say 'better hardware', remember that physical dimensions are one of the most important aspects of the hardware to a typical user, while CPU power is significantly less important. So, your mission (should you choose to accept it) name one Android tablet that:

  • Is 8.8 mm or less deep.
  • Has a 1024x768 display.
  • Has a 10 hour battery life.
  • Retails for under $499.

Last time I checked, there were no Android tablets that even met the first requirement, and the ones that matched the second two failed the third. I don't really see the point of this kind of device, so I've not looked very closely, but I have read comments from Samsung about how difficult it was to compete with Apple because they could get the components significantly cheaper due to their large volumes (purchasing volumes, that is, not the girth of their users).

Re:Finally, a cluestick (2)

leonbev (111395) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014182)

How many people really care about how thin their tablets are? I know that I don't, and I'm an iPad owner. It's not like we're going to be sticking these things in our pockets and that extra 2 mm of case depth is going to put a crease in our pants pockets.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014256)

How many users? Very few. How many potential buyers? A lot. If you go into a shop and pick up two tablets, you're a lot more likely to buy one that's 20% thinner. If you only pick up the thicker one, you probably won't think it's too thick.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (2, Insightful)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014276)

I don't have any research on this that I can cite, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say, "If Apple cares about this metric, a LOT, it's probably for a good reason."

Re:Finally, a cluestick (2)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014626)

Just like they care about not having buttons? I dunno, sometimes Apple is just on another planet.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1, Interesting)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014498)

My mum techie mum just ditched her iMac for an iPad. I'd say she cares about thinness. Last night a friend of mine got an iPad for her birthday, she loves how thin it is! Two examples though anecdotal.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014518)

The difference in the way the iPad 1 and iPad 2 fit my hand was the difference between cute and sexy. It's neither many mm or gm, but I could comfortably dismiss the first one as a fully useable device.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014608)

How many people really care about how thin their tablets are?

Well looking at the sales results lots of people.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014268)

Funny post. Android tablets win on two of your list and I question that sanity of people who care so much about one of them. That doesn't mean they are better since Apple are right that specs are not everything but still a funny post.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014296)

So, people are going to buy a tablet that's 8.7mm deep, but when somebody sees an 8.9mm deep table, it's suddenly not buyable? I've got a Nook which is 13.1mm deep and it's hardly a ridiculously huge device. A large part of why it's that deep is because it has a user replaceable battery and microSD slot.

I realize that there's a lot of Apple cultists that believe that smaller is better and that you can't get too small, but at some point reality has to overpower the famous Steve Jobs distortion field.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014648)

The desire for thinner tablets is a Steve Jobs creation...?

When we're talking about Reality Distortion, we are talking about Apple fans, right? Every day we go without tragic Apple news it gets harder and harder to tell.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014420)

The Acer Iconia A500 is too fat (13.3mm) and weighs more than an iPad, but otherwise:
1280x800 display
10 hour battery life
$399.99 at Staples

It also has:
hdmi 1080p / Dolby Mobile output
full-size USB so you can hook up standard keyboards, hard drives, etc.
microSD card slot
wifi, bluetooth, dual core, cameras, etc, etc.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014718)

At 13.3mm, it's 50% thicker than the iPad, and I also question your price slightly - from Acer's web site it's £427, which is about $700, and that's with £100 off the RRP, so the price you quote is half the price Acer quotes, and a lot more than the iPad. Staples' web site refuses to give me a price without entering a US Zip code, so I can't tell if it's really that price.

So, 50% thicker, and the UK price is over 50% more than the iPad, although the display does seem nicer. If I had a use for such a device, I'd be quite tempted, but it's the kind of thing I'd buy, use for a few days, and then never touch again.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014750)

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 [mobilecityonline.com] :
Dimensions: 256.6 x 172.9 x 8.6 mm
Size: 800 x 1280 pixels, 10.1 inches
Battery: around 10 hours [engadget.com]
Price: $499
So for the same price, and the expectation that the software catalog is going to expand, you get a better hardware, with an OS designed from the ground up for tablets, with tablet-only semantics. Personally, as a dev, I can't wait to get my hand in one of these.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014816)

Looks nice. Now if they'd only sell them with a proper *NIX install instead of Android, I'd be tempted...

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014980)

:o) [xda-developers.com]

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014876)

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a higher-res display, 10 hours of battery life, is faster, is thinner and lighter than the iPad, and sells for $499.

This is why Apple is trying to ban imports on it - they know it's a better product, and they can't build anything better.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

Bryan3000000 (1356999) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014134)

Here are at least some of the missing requirements, that Android fails (badly to very badly) 4) You have to have some basic level of quality control 5) You have to at least try to prevent developers from exploiting users 6) You have to have some level of consistency

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014314)

So, walled garden good, consumer freedom bad?

What Apply fanbois tend to forget is that you shouldn't have to jail break your devices in order to install what you want. Unfortunately the consequence of that is that you have to be mindful of what you install.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014594)

So, walled garden good, consumer freedom bad?

What Apply fanbois tend to forget is that you shouldn't have to jail break your devices in order to install what you want. Unfortunately the consequence of that is that you have to be mindful of what you install.

And what Android/HP/etc fanbois tend to forget is that the vast majority of tablet customers don't even know what jailbreak means, let alone want to do it.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014674)

You really supported his point with that last line.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014710)

Are we talking marketshare over here or our own preferences? Because all that you cite is well and good, but grandma doesn't give a shit.

Consumer freedom is still there, and you can return your product, sell it used, buy another one. Heck, you can even not buy it.

Are you going to say that most alarm clocks are bad because your OpenAlarmClock is the same but you can compile your kernel on it? Who gives a flying fuck about that? I buy an alarm clock to get woken up in the morning, not to compile linux on it.

I buy a phone to place calls, get called, send/seceive SMS, browse the web, mail, install apps. Steve's selection of apps IS GOOD FOR 99% of the population.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014866)

Posting from my Motorola Xoom.

quality control

Let's see, all aluminum chassis check, wide viewing angles check, high quality Honeycomb 3.2 check. Yes, there are niggles here and there but there are issues on iPad too.

developers exploiting users

Full disclosure of app permissions requests check. Official app store that weeds out problems as they are exposed check.

consistency

App navigation/menu button always in the same place check. Settings in the application always accessible from the same button check.

As an owner of both a Xoom and an iPad, your arguments fall flat.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014104)

Geeks care about better hardware, regular users (i.e. the actual profit base) don't give a shit. Regular users care about
1) Brand recognition and reputation (Marketing)
2) Application availability
3) perceived ease of use
4) Black turtlenecks
5) Price, except when they can finance it over 2 years through a cellphone carrier.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014348)

>Geeks care about better hardware,

Alright, I'll give you that normal people don't care about abstract numbers.

But I think they'll care that if Android device is flaky or slow due to a slow CPU or low memory.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

DusterBar (881355) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014834)

Actually, they care more about the quality of the display (how it looks) and the quality of the software (how it doesn't crash)

So many of the other tablets don't have high quality IPS displays. They have software that has unexpected failures. They run out of battery before the day is over.

These are key features - the raw specs don't matter. If the product works, looks good, and gets the job done all day, they don't care if it was a V8 or a turbo-V6 or a super-charged L4 in there. (Or an ARM or ATOM / dual-core or quad - does not matter as long as it works and is enjoyable)

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014128)

Apple have pretty much never had superior hardware when it comes to iPods, iPhones, and the iPad. No expandable storage being one of the main issues I have with them. What set these Apple devices apart was the improved interfaces (which yes for the iPhone/iPad involved hardware, but now everyone has capacitive touch).

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014232)

now everyone has capacitive touch

Everyone???? Uhhhh, no.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Android_devices#Tablet_computers [wikipedia.org]

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014796)

I was exaggerating - I know there are still cheap resistive devices out there - but anyone who cares can get a capacitive phone or tablet at a very reasonable price, as long as they don't want the official Google branded app/Market. One of my co workers recently got a 10" advent tablet with capacitive touch and Android 2.2 for £190. Sure it isn't at the bleeding edge, but it does all that most people need, for less than half the price of an iPad. The only reason I went for an Android 3.x tablet was for the video editor, which to be honest I haven't used yet..!

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014818)

(The Advent tablet has a dual core nVidia Tegra 2 processor for those that think it may be under powered.. I can't wait to see what will be available in a year :)

Re:Finally, a cluestick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014278)

For their price point, the iPhone and iPad have always had superior or at least equal hardware when you consider the whole package (i.e., including enclosure size, quality of the screen, battery life, etc), except *occasionally* with the iPhone on the tail end of a development cycle (i.e., for the 2-3 months before the next iPhone comes out, competitors will beat it).

Expandable storage is an irrelevant feature to most users, and the recent push to sync data to the net and stream it back when needed will make it increasingly irrelevant over time.

Moreover, even when others had capacitive touch, for 2-3 years the iPhone still had *the best capacitive touch screen out there*. There were various drawings up of how the various screens fared in terms of just tracking a finger drawing a grid, and the iPhone beat the others up and down the street.

In short, Macs are still premium priced for their components (though again when you factor in enclosure and such things get a little more interesting), but iPhones, and *especially* the iPad, have not really required a premium of the buyer. That Apple still manages mildly ridiculous margins is more of a frightening point still, because it means that even if other tablet makers could match Apple's price point-to-(important-)specs ratio right now, if Apple chose to (which they probably won't), they could take a margin hit and beat their price point again.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014192)

1. You have to have better hardware

This is a recurring theme on /. and misses the point. Better hardware is irrelevant if all it can do is warm the lap of the target consumer. I doubt a large percentage of iPad owners fixate on / can tell you what's under the hood.

HP technical support issues too (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014206)

OK some of hp greps linux [printers and enterprise], but at a 'consumer level' its all windows.

I use a lot of linux, but at a consumer level who buys hp computers for technical support. Can consumer support at hp do linux and windows ?

Lower price period for Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014230)

For a Windows based piece of hardware, I expect to pay less than Apple just because they are not Apple.

Apple is a premium brand.

Windows is the value brand.

Therefore, comparing an iPad with certain hardware requirements with a Windows based one, I wouldn't even consider the Windows based one unless it's at least 25% less: A Windows equivalent of the base iPad would have to go for $400.00 - max. That's my expectation in the computing World and if HP or any other Windows hardware maker can't meet those price expectations, then I'll buy Apple.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014266)

That happens fairly often actually. The problem is that Apple has a really amazing marketing department. Which is why most folks bought iPods even though they were inferior on all three of those points to something at pretty much every point in their development.

But, they became a status symbol and after that folks were willing to pay too much for too little. I mean for god's sake for the longest time you couldn't even replace your own battery even though the battery life was terrible.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014524)

You might be right initially about the marketing (any product in general), but the iPod is ten years old now, I'd say its standing on its own merits technically and on a ease of use basis.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014786)

The iPod killed everything else because it wasn't a clusterfuck to get music on it. You could easily RIP CDs and/or buy music in iTunes, connect one cable then hit a single button to get the music onto the player. NOBODY else had anything that worked in that straightforward a manner (until the Zune, but then it was WAY too late).

Everybody else had the user come up with some way to manage their music, and manually get it on the player.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014288)

right. software catalog, os features,, advertising, distribution, buzz, design... don't count at all !

Re:Finally, a cluestick (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014304)

"better hardware" is so vague it's useless: it could mean more powerful, cuter, more robust... or whatever, depending on what one's hardware tastes are.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014504)

You do need better hardware. But not CPU, RAM or GPU.

To compete with the iPad I'd suggest the following:

- High quality construction – no cheap flexible plastic.
- Carefully chosen finishes and precision machining on the materials used .
- High quality display (IPS or AMOLED), good calibration out of the box.
- A fast and stable user experience. Who cares if the CPU and GPU are great if they can't make the basic UI run smoothly at all times.
- An OS for the mainstream - no one wants to run a task manager except for geeks like us, no one cares if they can SSH onto their device.
- As thin or thinner than iPad.
- All of the above for under $500.

Re:Finally, a cluestick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014574)

3. Better software.
4. Better ecosystem, or at least something that passes for one.
5. All four.

Just how bad is the battery life? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37013986)

lukewarm reviews criticizing the ... poor battery live

Just how bad is it? Merely journalistic hyperbole where it runs about 5 minutes less than a ipad, or is it so bad you can't watch a full length movie on one charge?

Much of a tablet's success is based on the ecosystem of apps that is available to the end-user.

B.S. journalist doesn't know anything, just repeating what other journalists say. Every user I know spends 99.99% of their time in safari, mail, facebook app, or the video/music player. With an honorable mention of the kindle app.

No one buys based on which platform has the most fart soundboard apps or the most "20 pictures of attractive women for 99 cents" apps.

Re:Just how bad is the battery life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014026)

Or maybe you just hang out with boring people.

Re:Just how bad is the battery life? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014158)

What app are these non-"boring" people using?

Re:Just how bad is the battery life? (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014364)

Angry Birds

Re:Just how bad is the battery life? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014726)

So to be non-boring, you must do what everyone else does? I see.

Re:Just how bad is the battery life? (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014556)

Grindr.

Re:Just how bad is the battery life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014108)

B.S. journalist doesn't know anything, just repeating what other journalists say. Every user I know spends 99.99% of their time in safari, mail, facebook app, or the video/music player. With an honorable mention of the kindle app.

With precision to two decimal places I'm fully confident that your figures can be trusted.

No one buys based on which platform has the most fart soundboard apps or the most "20 pictures of attractive women for 99 cents" apps.

Probably why the whole farting girls app thing isn't really pushed by the marketing people.

Re:Just how bad is the battery life? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014110)

B.S. journalist doesn't know anything, just repeating what other journalists say. Every user I know spends 99.99% of their time in safari, mail, facebook app, or the video/music player. With an honorable mention of the kindle app.

Yay!!! Somebody finally gets it. You've succinctly explained Apple's success. See, it's not the shiny hardware; it's the nice stuff that comes preinstalled, no mucking about, that people are buying. Surprisingly enough, fewer iOS users are shallow hipsters with too much money than the average slashdotter is willing to admit.

This is why many Apple fans don't mind the supposed lock-in, because what they are locked into works 99.99% of the time for them. Of course the App Store is just icing for those folks. I've found the most vocal opponents to iOS/OS X are ones who don't appreciate the quality of the built-in functionality in the first place.

Re:Just how bad is the battery life? (1)

paimin (656338) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014656)

The notion that 99.99% of iOS users are not downloading and using apps is laughable.

Death knell of WebOS. (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014064)

Which is a damn shame, because WebOS is such a damn good mobile OS.

I'm not sure if it's this price drop or the fact that it showed up on Woot for 20 bucks off a few days ago that really is the final bell for WebOS.

Re:Death knell of WebOS. (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014932)

It is. I've been waiting to buy one.

Personally, I really like the API they're using for WebOS.
The whole thing is a Javascript toolkit, and it makes a lot of sense. Developing apps for it will be a piece of cake.

You have the best Slashdot cig ever, by the way.

Shoe is on another foot now? (2)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014088)

"Much of a tablet's success is based on the ecosystem of apps that is available to the end-user."

It seems like the summary author needs to be reminded that this was precisely Apple's dilemma for decades, and to a degree still is with its desktop OS versus Windows.

Personally I'm inclined to resist any browser-as-OS solution with every fiber of my being, just as I have been software subscriptions. The writing is on the wall: the browser-as-OS gambit is intended to warm people up to the notion of software in the "cloud", and software in the cloud will inevitably lead to subscriptions. Once the instructions no longer even execute on your hardware, you're a hostage.

Re:Shoe is on another foot now? (1)

darronb (217897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014346)

It's INTENDED as a way to pull developers from the web into their mobile platform. There's no smoky-room-with-old-white-billionaires-playing-poker here.

People need to stop looking for conspiracies everywhere. I understand that humanity is hard-wired to look for a presence behind any random thing in the universe (the fundamental basis of religion)... but get a little perspective. ... can it potentially LEAD to that? Sure, I suppose it's possible. A lot of stuff is possible. If that's your point of view, you'd help your cause out a lot more if you skipped the little gestures like avoiding webOS and simply skipped using the entire WEB.

If you want to get yourself all worked up over and over again over a 1 in 10,000 chance there's a real conspiracy, the only person you're hurting it yourself. Scratch that, you're hurting anyone who listens to you too. I know way too many people personally who see conspiracies everywhere and say "Dude, I'm NOBODY's tool! You're acting like a sheep!" Is that actually rewarding? It turns people paranoid and suspicious. At what point is the remote risk of being fooled by some schemer simply not worth the effort of burning yourself into a bitter old cynical asshat?

While critical thinking is sorely lacking in general... just to evaluate things yourself on their merits should go plenty far enough towards avoiding sheep-like behavior. Don't give in to the temptation to search for conspiracies everywhere.

I like webOS because it's extremely developer friendly. Personally, I put Qt apps on it for my use and my clients use... no HTML5/JS required. I'm not particularly happy with HTML5/JS as an upcoming platform in general.

(I suppose since I'm an advocate I must be part of this web conspiracy? ... or just a tool?)

Re:Shoe is on another foot now? (0)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014534)

You're just a tool, as both an unwitting pawn and a bit of a jerk. Declaring that anyone else who is more suspicious and skeptical of human motives than you are must thus be a conspiracy nut is not exactly a shining example of critical thought. Clean up your own attic before you try rummaging in mine, buddy.

Re:Shoe is on another foot now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014738)

Do you have any facts to back up your baseless assertion? I didnt think so.

It's not apps, it's marketing (0)

guises (2423402) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014114)

This is a little inflammatory, but I think Apple's dominance in tablets can be attributed to the fact that tablets have no real function. With the iPhone they had an innovative product, one worth copying, but people who buy iPads do so because they're Apple's new thing, not because they really need a laptop/cellphone hybrid that can't do as much as either one. So people who aren't Apple people, the market for non-Apple tablets, have no compelling reason to purchase one of these.

Re:It's not apps, it's marketing (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014180)

so why are so many iPads syncing to Windows machines?

I like the fact that browsing and doing stuff doesn't have to be constrained either by small screen size or having to gently handle a laptop.

I can flip open my iPad's smart cover and be ready to browse. Can't do that on a cheap ass netbook or laptop.

Re:It's not apps, it's marketing (1)

brim4brim (2343300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014284)

My boss is hardcore Apple fan, has everything except a Mac or Macbook. Just thinks everything is on windows and is used to it so OSX isn't intuitive to him. iPhone was first touchscreen phone that was heavily marketed and had a good brand behind it. Nokia's were king of the previous generation because people got used to the keypad layout for things like full stops and didn't want to adapt to another manufacturers keypad who put those options in other places at least among the people I asked at the time. Xbox 360 took the console market by providing the next generation console ahead of everyone else but Wii took the motion market despite the other manufacturers adding their own to their consoles, they have not taken off in same way.

All the above have one thing in common, first to market and many got a largely non-technical audience who don't seem to want to adapt to new interfaces once they get comfortable with one. Time to market and heavy marketing to ensure brand recognition and show that the manufacturer heavily believes in the product and is there to support it is what makes users buy into these products in my opinion. Well that and most of the above were also shiny :P

Re:It's not apps, it's marketing (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014220)

With the iPhone they had an innovative product, one worth copying, but people who buy iPads do so because they're Apple's new thing...

It's an attractive thought, afterall it's fashionable to think that Apple has some unearthly power to summon money out of the masses, but that's not what's happening. Lots of people have iPhones and iPods. The vast majority of those people love surfing from the couch and purchasing interesting/fun apps. A number of people I've personally encountered told me that they wished they had a bigger version of the iPod Touch. Now that's anecdotal, I'll concede that, but they basically described the iPad. When you purchase apps from Apple, you're allowed to install them on all of your iOS devices. So the risk of getting an iPad and it turning out to be useless is pretty low. There's a difference between "oooo new Apple thing!" and "hmm I really do like this device, now they've got one that has a bigger screen... can't wait to see what I can do with that!"

With that said, I'll tell you one thing about the numerous iPad users I've encountered that partially supports your point: I watched a number of them spend a couple of weeks bringing their iPad to work trying to figure out how to elevate it above being a toy. It's difficult to fit it in when we've got desktops with 30" monitors and laptops. They knew the iPads were effectively big iPod Touches, but they didn't know at the time of purchase just what to use it for. On that note, I've seen a number of people buy cheap netbooks and do the same thing. Heh.

Re:It's not apps, it's marketing (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014258)

So, 30 million people though that they needed Apple's new thing?

Or maybe 30 million people thought it was better than any laptop out there, for their needs, for the same price?

Or maybe you're just plain wrong.

Re:It's not apps, it's marketing (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014638)

I have had a Palm Pre Plus since they came out. I WANTED a WebOS tablet, but thre is NO software for it. I look at the WebOs market at least once a week and its jsut shit apps . There are NO big 3rd party names, just a bunch of little bullshit apps. I was surprised when Angry Birds showed up on the market. Also, the WebOS tablet FEELS LIKE SHIT IN YOUR HAND compared to an ipad. Its a giant hunk of cheap looking plastic. I really wanted HP/Palm to come through here , but htey have failed very hard. If it drops to $250 i MAY consider picking it up, and thats coming from someone who uses WebOS every day.

Speeling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014250)

The number of typographical and grammatical errors in the article itself lead me to question its integrity

Re:Speeling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014340)

That's one the reasons I actively dissuade my clients from using Lunix. In my consultancy I've installed a lot of Lunix systems for desktop and server applications in the enterprise, but in most cases I'm back a week later to replace them with Windows boxes. In one recent case Lunix was fine for hosting a Postgres QL database as a back-end for a CRM system I developed, but a lack of DirectX support meant that games support was at best painfully lacking. I replaced that system with Windows 7 Ultimate, and Posgres SQL runs just fine, and I saw upwards of 70 fps in Crysis. I've written more PHP guestbooks than most people here have had hot dinners in a day, so I'm no slouch when it comes to IT. Linus, pull your finger out. I can't even get registry cleaner software to run on Lunix, so how do you expect us to troubleshoot the thing? I'm sorry, Lunix is just not ready to be anything more than a hobbyist system for people who entrust their data to some European who apparently wants to give us a "free" system. I'll bet he won't be seen then grandma gets sued for patent infringement.

Re:Speeling? (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 2 years ago | (#37014900)

Ooh I love it when someone brings an old piece of flamebait up to date :-)

Even including the details of inconsistent spelling. Genius!

HP can suck it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37014914)

I'd give a shit if they hadn't screwed me out of my Sprint Pre's WebOS 2.0 update.

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