HP: TouchPad will become 'number one plus'

In Cannes, HP's European chief talks up the prospects for the WebOS-based tablet, due this summer, saying it'll appeal to both consumers and corporate customers.

HP's upcoming tablet, the TouchPad.
HP's upcoming tablet, the TouchPad. HP

Hewlett-Packard has really high hopes for its upcoming TouchPad tablet.

"In the PC world, with fewer ways of differentiating HP's products from our competitors, we became number one," HP's European chief, Eric Cador, said during a press conference in Cannes over the weekend, according to Britain's The Telegraph. "In the tablet world, we're going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus."

HP signaled its intentions for the tablet market in February when it unveiled the TouchPad . The device runs the company's WebOS operating system and comes with a 9.7-inch display. When it hits store shelves sometime this summer, it will include the Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and both front- and rear-facing cameras.

So far, HP hasn't announced pricing or availability, but a report last week from blog Pre Central featured an alleged internal Wal-Mart document showing the 32GB TouchPad launching for $599 .

Cador's comment are a shot over the bow of Apple, currently the market's top tablet maker, thanks to its iPad, which debuted in 2010. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has said has it sold more than 15 million iPad units to date. In Apple's fiscal second quarter, ended March 26, the company sold 4.69 million iPad units.

That level of success has helped Apple dominate the tablet space. According to a report released by research firm IDC in January, the iPad had 87.4 percent market share in 2010 . Gartner, another research firm, said last month that Apple's market share was 83.9 percent last year. In either case, the company easily bested all other competitors.

But Gartner also said in its study last month that the iPad's worldwide market share will decline over the next several years, dropping to 68.7 percent this year and 63.5 percent next year. By 2015, the forecast calls for Apple's market share to be just 47.1 percent. Even so, the tech giant will be able to hold on to the top spot over that span, according to Gartner, just beating out Android-based devices, which the research firm expects will have 38.6 percent share by 2015.

Contrary to HP's expectations, WebOS won't come to close to reaching the number one position in the marketplace, according to Gartner. The research firm sees WebOS market share hitting just 4 percent this year and declining over the next several years to land at 3 percent in 2015.

HP's Cador said that the TouchPad will be able to appeal to both consumers and corporate customers to differentiate the product.

"The way the user is going to look at tablets means it's about experience," he reportedly said during the Cannes press conference. "The way the corporate is going to look at it is to say that its employees, who are also consumers, have got to like it and it's got to be secure. We're going to deliver that. Beyond that, it's about marketing and branding."

 

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