As we are sure that you’re aware, HP made a splash in the tech community this past week. HP announced that they were dropping out of the hardware game and going to focus simply on their WebOS. This WebOS is of course what was featured on the Palm Pre and other Palm devices and then bought by HP. It was then released on the first HP tablet the HP Touchpad.
Despite a heavy marketing campaign, featuring several different TV commercials including different celebrities, the HP Touchpad never took off. The HP sales were dismal at best, and just a few weeks after its initial release HP dropped the price. This was just the beginning of the end for the Touchpad however. Just a few weeks later HP made the announcement that they were going to discontinue the HP Touchpad and dropped the prices through the floor.
This past week HP dropped the 16Gb Touchpad to $99 and the 32Gb model to $149. This created a huge buzz and the Touchpads began flying off the shelves. Severs were crashed and sales went through the roof. Folk watched forums announcing the newest website to have stock left for sale at the new prices. Many purchases were made by folks looking to resale, but then many were also purchased to be used.
What remains to be seen is what causes this onslaught of purchases and the viral spread of the news. Is it the fact that you were getting a $500 tablet for $100? Or is it that $100 is what people are willing to spend for a quality tablet. Obviously $100 tablets aren’t coming anytime in the near future from Apple. The Touchpads reportedly cost ~$250 to produce, leaving a loss of $150 per tablet sold.
Rumors of the iPad 5 HD did have a good idea built into them however after witnessing this Touchpad frenzy. Splitting the iPad line into a low end and high end or “Pro” line could very well be a successful idea. If they were able to produce a lower entry cost iPad 6 and then a higher end version they could target both markets. Taking a small loss on the lower end model may even work in their favor. Sales on music, apps, accessories, and iCloud services would then see an increase. Depending on the profitability of each of these areas they could easily cover any loses on the actual device. You see this in the game console industry. Many new consoles are sold at a loss and profits are made in the sale of the actual games.
Creating a lower priced iPad 6 could create a similar frenzy like caused by the HP Touchpad. Even if Apple doesn’t go this direction, they can rest assured that the iPad 6 can be perfected before release. The iPad 5 is just now starting to plateau in sales, and the holiday season is just around the corner. The Samsung Galaxy is not selling as well as projected, and HP has left the market.
The iPad 6 still appears to be projected for an early 2015 release. If following the previous release schedule we are looking at a March or April 2015 release. As always we will keep you up to date on any iPad 6 rumors, news, and information that may appear.