At a press conference in Cannes, HP touted the forthcoming TouchPad as being “better than number one” and announced a few of the European TouchPad flagship partners.
HP’s senior VP for the Personal Systems Group in EMEA, Eric Cador said, “In the PC world, with fewer ways of differentiating HP’s products from our competitors, we became number one; in the tablet world we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus.” That’s pretty big talk, but HP aren’t no. 11 in the Fortune 500 for nothing (Apple is no. 35).
Key to getting the TouchPad to “1+” will be getting developers on-board and a wide range of apps and Mr Cador announced that UK partners will be Sky TV, The Guardian newspaper and music streaming service Last.fm. According to HP, there will be “thousands” more at launch.
When asked about the competition in the tablet market, Eric Cador said, “Only one company plays in both the consumer and business and world. We tend to talk about technologies. But the way the user is going to look at tablets means it’s about experience. 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.”
He’s certainly not wrong there but there’s a huge hill to climb to get anywhere near no. 1. There’s no doubt that the iPad is the current king of the hill, but there’s no clear no. 2, though Samsung, Motorola, htc and RIM are all going to take a shot. If HP can get developers on board, their business links are going to make them a strong contender.
Pricing and release date was not disclosed for the TouchPad. The Veer smartphone was released in the US earlier in May and the Pre 3 is expected June. No UK launch date has been announced for either phone.
Further reporting at The Telegraph.