Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 24th Feb 2013 17:26 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "It's officially true: Hewlett-Packard is back in the mobile race. Today, HP is announcing its first Android product: the HP Slate 7. But it looks like the company won't be making a splash right away: Starting at $169.99, the new device will launch this April with a fairly unimpressive set of specs." As I've been working my behind off on a huge Palm article, HP turns around and slaps this thing in my face. You had one job, HP.
Order by: Score:
It's a start...
by PaxD75 on Sun 24th Feb 2013 18:32 UTC
PaxD75
Member since:
2012-03-31

Glad to see HP enter the mobile space again even if it is conservatively. I imagine that they are sticking their toe into the icy waters right now. Once bitten...

They're a huge company, great distribution. My only interest is that this is going to continue to lower prices and eventually create better products in the long-term.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's a start...
by leos on Mon 25th Feb 2013 06:12 UTC in reply to "It's a start..."
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

They're a huge company, great distribution. My only interest is that this is going to continue to lower prices and eventually create better products in the long-term.


Because if there's one thing we know it's that a race to the bottom with razor thin margins always lead to amazing products and lots of money spent on R&D.

Edited 2013-02-25 06:12 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: It's a start...
by chithanh on Mon 25th Feb 2013 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a start..."
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

HP needs to establish a market presence in tablets before they can sell premium devices. This is a lesson that others (Motorola, Blackberry) have painfully learned, too.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: It's a start...
by Nelson on Mon 25th Feb 2013 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's a start..."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Helping the tablet market further erode its prices doesn't really seem logical to HP given that they provide no value-add to the customer.

It could be argued that it's worth it to accept tiny margins and high volume if it meant subsidizing some kind of ecosystem. HP isn't doing any of that. They don't have any ulterior motive for being in tablets other than wanting a slice of the monetary pie. This works against that.

Tablets are moving into this super cheap, low profit territory that I'm not sure anyone but Google and maybe Amazon even want.

HP would be wise to carefully study the effects of what they're doing, given that these prices are more easily cut than raised. Good luck trying to charge a premium down the road when people realize that, wow, a $170 tablet is unsustainable.

HP sells no services in the vicinity needed to sustain this if it catches on. They're wasting their own time.

It is a very nice tablet though, I was surprised.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: It's a start...
by chithanh on Tue 26th Feb 2013 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It's a start..."
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

This is not how it works. If you want to enter some market, you need to provide better value than the competition until you can sell stuff via your brand. Producing innovative but high-priced stuff doesn't get you the necessary numbers.

The motivation for selling tablets is clear: the market for traditional PCs and Notebooks is shrinking, and tablets are growing and use many of the same distribution channels. If HP doesn't sell tablets, then it will fall behind its rivals. Like Lenovo which at MWC launched an extensive Android based assault on the tablet market.

This time though, HP does everything right:
- non-niche OS
- low price point
- mostly vanilla Android
- SD card slot

Especially the latter two you will find users asking for all the time when a new Android device is announced. HP probably won't make much profit (if at all) with this device, but that is not necessary at this point.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: It's a start...
by Nelson on Tue 26th Feb 2013 06:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It's a start..."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

There's cheap, and then there's unsustainable. It is fine for HP to have a low to mid range portfolio, but when low range means sub $200 it starts to get a little ridiculous. The price erosion going on is not likely healthy for anybody.

Its probably why Apple isn't participating, they decided they'd rather still make healthy margins on the iPad Mini rather than go dirt cheap.

Prices in this case are sticky-up and it will prove very difficult for HP and others to at some point in the future start extracting healthy margins.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: It's a start...
by chithanh on Tue 26th Feb 2013 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It's a start..."
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

"Unsustainable" would be selling below cost.

There is a market for premium ($500+) devices that is currently dominated by Apple, ASUS (Transformer) and Samsung (Galaxy Tab). This market is mostly unaffected by the competition in the low-cost sector.

The Chinese white-box manufacturers are active in the market of sub-$150 devices, HP is unable to compete there and wisely does not even try.

But between these price points, there is a large market where HP can compete today, even if the margins are low. This market is just for shipping devices in volume. Once they are present in that market and have a brand, then they can start selling premium devices with the margins. Margins on premium devices will not go away as observed above.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: It's a start...
by unclefester on Tue 26th Feb 2013 04:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's a start..."
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

HP needs to establish a market presence in tablets before they can sell premium devices. This is a lesson that others (Motorola, Blackberry) have painfully learned, too.


Casio started out selling very cheap digital watches. They now sell watches ranging between $20 and $5000.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: It's a start...
by PaxD75 on Tue 26th Feb 2013 01:36 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a start..."
PaxD75 Member since:
2012-03-31

@leos: I don't think I was clear above. What I meant... when you have a big player enter the arena, other players may need to do more to differentiate their products. Instead of a keyboard dockable 8" tablet (with bells & whistles) at $600, we could see this mythical beast listed at $400. We might see two similar low-spec devices with the only difference being the aspect-ratio. It's a ripple effect.

Bargain basement shoppers will buy low-end from a more reputable source (with support) and those who shop by specs will have an increasing variety in the upper range as companies consider other market strategies.

This past Christmas, a cousin of mine refused to pay for Google's Nexus 7 ($200, Taxes, Shipping, faceless-entity, questionable support) or a Samsung 7" (about the same price last time I checked). He opted for a $129 Chinese knock-off (no google play) at a **local store** (local, walk-in support was his preference) - despite my strong warnings against the brand. My brother-in-law, who now hates his iPad, refused to consider the higher-end 10.1" Android tablets and I wasn't about to suggest a generic overseas brand. Price was his motivation after having felt burned by his Apple purchase and a name-brand with decent reviews was my motivation.

HP's entry changes the purchasing dynamics for consumers and strengthens the lower-end of the market in the short-term. In the long-term, if they continue to invest and other companies react, WE end up with better options throughout the entire spectrum of devices (low-end to high-end) from different and more reputable sources.

Reply Score: 3

rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

Any 7" tablet running Android is going to be immediately compared to the Nexus 7. With the suspicion that Asus is getting a subsidy from Google to sell at or near cost, it's been proving very difficult for anyone to match or beat the Nexus 7 specs and charge the same or lower price.

The OS should be vanilla and based on at least Jelly Bean, but the Nexus 7 does leave some gaps in its specs waiting for someone to fill them. Most obvious are a rear camera (which is the only sensible way to scan QR codes or take photos to be honest) and an SD card slot.

HP have managed to beat the Nexus 7 price, include an SD card slot and provide a rear camera (though of a dubiously low 3MP resolution). So far, so good, but then they wreck it with 1024x600 screen res (seen on the PlayBook from 2 years ago and it's only just about usable), only 8GB flash as standard and a noticeably worse CPU than the Nexus 7.

I would say it's swings and roundabouts really - if an SD card slot and a rear camera are the most important aspects of a tablet to you, then you might be a potential buyer. For anyone else though, I'd say the Nexus 7 remains the preferred buy, as it has pretty well has since its launch.

What I'd quite like next from Google's Nexus tablet line is a "Nexus 8" with, say, Tegra 4 (or equivalent), 8" screen, an increase in screen res (e.g. to 1920x1080), 2GB RAM, 32GB storage (or less with an SD card slot, but that won't happen). Sell it for halfway between the 7 and 10 (e.g. at iPad Mini price) and it would indeed blow away an iPad Mini (which I think the Nexus 7 does anyway!). Oh and keep selling the Nexus 7 as it is - no need to drop that yet.

Edited 2013-02-24 18:53 UTC

Reply Score: 8

arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

Screen needs to be improved.

One thing about the price, though, the Nexus 7 is sold at that low price only in a few countries. It costs around $400 in India, so if HP actually prices their tablet aggressively all over the world, they could get decent sales.

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The OS should be vanilla and based on at least Jelly Bean, but the Nexus 7 does leave some gaps in its specs waiting for someone to fill them. Most obvious are a rear camera (which is the only sensible way to scan QR codes or take photos to be honest) and an SD card slot.


I'm hoping somebody will step up one of these days with a high-end 7" tablet running stock Android, with an SD card slot, HDMI out, and hi-res resolution. As it is, everybody seems to be shooting for the bottom of the barrel. I saw Samsung had announced an 8" tablet that looked decent, but then you don't have stock Android anymore. Keylime Pie? Maybe in late 2014, if you're lucky ;)

Reply Score: 3

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13


I'm hoping somebody will step up one of these days with a high-end 7" tablet running stock Android, with an SD card slot, HDMI out, and hi-res resolution.


Try Ainol Novo.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

C'mon, I said high end, not Chinese crap ;)

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

C'mon, I said high end, not Chinese crap ;)


Ainol tablets are high end. The latest Ainol Novo 7" Venus has a Quad Core 1.5gHz CortexA9, IGB RAM, Android 4.1, 16GB ROM and a 1280x800 IPS screen

Price ~$140 inc shipping

Reply Score: 3

Nice price point
by Phloptical on Sun 24th Feb 2013 21:52 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

The price is right, the company name is right, looks like I may have to purchase one of these.

Reply Score: 4

Really?
by transami on Mon 25th Feb 2013 05:48 UTC
transami
Member since:
2006-02-28

Android, but no option of webOS? HP is bat shit crazy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Really?
by wonea on Mon 25th Feb 2013 09:18 UTC in reply to "Really?"
wonea Member since:
2005-10-28

Agreed, why no dual boot?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Really?
by Priest on Mon 25th Feb 2013 21:00 UTC in reply to "Really?"
Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

Didn't a lot of the people who bought HP WebOS tablets at liquidation prices just throw Android on them anyway? I know I did.

Reply Score: 2

hp sold webos!
by smashIt on Mon 25th Feb 2013 10:11 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

just read a news that hp sold webos to lg
including the developers

http://futurezone.at/b2b/14295-lg-kauft-hp-webos-fuer-einsatz-in-fl... (it's in german)

Reply Score: 4

RE: hp sold webos!
by moondevil on Mon 25th Feb 2013 10:49 UTC in reply to "hp sold webos!"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

News now available on Engadget for English speakers.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/25/lg-acquires-webos-from-hp-smart-...

Reply Score: 3

touchpad
by crhylove on Tue 26th Feb 2013 07:02 UTC
crhylove
Member since:
2010-04-10

Why not release full jelly bean for touchpad? Buy some friends and fans for almost nothing (if you don't count their losses on the tp as well).

Reply Score: 1

Ever heard of the multiplier effect?
by unclefester on Tue 26th Feb 2013 08:19 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

I have to laugh at the comments about HP racing to the bottom and making no profits.

The entire design and manufacturing of the Slate 7 would have been contracted out to a specialist Taiwanese OEM. The cost to HP would $60-70 (maximum) per unit. This cost will probably fall to $40-50 within a few months. The Slate 7 is a low specification device using older hardware. [The stainless steel back would add about 50 cents to the manufacturing cost.]

The recently discontinued Ainol 7 Elf II with virtually identical hardware retails for around $105 including shipping. (This indicates a manufacturing cost of <$50).

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

To put things into perspective the Nexus 7 16GB with far higher specifications had an estimated manufacturing cost of only $159 way back in July 2012. The cost would have plummeted since then.


http://androidheadlines.com/2012/07/ihs-isuppli-says-nexus-7-costs-...

Reply Score: 2