Clues from the Hewlett Packard TouchPad Specs

| Analysis

On Wednesday, Hewlett-Packard announced its TouchPad tablet with specs amazingly close to Apple’s iPad. Even though it won’t ship until this summer, it’s possible to draw some interesting conclusions from the specs alone.

Physical Size

First, the physical size of the TouchPad is almost exactly the same as the iPad’s, within millimeters. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

The other major tablets that have been announced go their own way in physical size, screen size, aspect ratio and resolution. One would expect that. If HP, counting on a resurgence in vision and its own brand, had its own goals, technologies and agendas, you’d reasonably think that its physical characteristics would be somewhat different than the iPad as well. That’s a typical situation, but in this case, perhaps not so clever.

HP TouchPad

I think HP did something smart. The TouchPad is being designed as a perfectly adequate, physical substitute for the iPad. Laying on a table, it looks like an iPad. It can even use some of the same stands, like the Keynamics iPad stand. In those environments where individuals, schools, the government and the military have already made physical arrangements for the iPad: shipping, storage, travel, deployment, the TouchPad literally fits right in.

A good example would be a military contract for a new unmanned surveillance aircraft. Hangars are designed, runways laid, and towing & refueling equipment is subcontracted at a secret forward location. The first contractor swoops in and wins the first contract. But later, a competitor wants into the game. Would you design a competitive aircraft that requires the customer to redesign and rebuild everything?  HP understands this kind of thinking, and it may have even extended to the decision about the name.

Battery Life

The iPad has a 24.8 Watt-hour battery at 3.75 Volts. Using Watts = Volts * Amps, that means a 6.6 Amp-hour battery. The H-P TouchPad has a 6.3 Amp-hour battery, cited by H-P as 6,300 milliAmp-hours (mAh) for the large number effect.

Given that the Snapdragon (APQ8060) uses about the same power as the iPad’s A4 (0.5 Watt) [see Slashdot and DailyTech] and that the screen size and resolution and low end storage are identical, for an overall average power usage of 2.5 Watts, I suspect that the battery life of the TouchPad will be about the same as the iPad, 10 hours.

Why didn’t HP didn’t announce that on Wednesday? Maybe they still have some optimizations to do, and didn’t want to box themselves into an unnecessarily modest claim. On the other hand, what’s wrong with under promising and over delivering?

End User Price

Given that the TouchPad is almost identical to the iPad in size, weight, screen size, resolution and battery capacity, one might guess that the sum of the component parts, the bill of materials, would be about the same. Therefore, HP should be able sell the entry model (16 GB) for the same price as the iPad, US$499.

Somehow, I have a hard time believing that HP has the same buying power as Apple, with its multi-billion dollar contracts for Flash memory and displays from Samsung and others. Apple has already sold 14 million iPads and probably has 10 million more iPad 2s in the pipeline for April. How can HP get the same terms from parts suppliers at this point?

My guess is that HP, knowing this, saw no reason to announce the end user price on Wednesday. The company had to make the announcement with plenty of lead time to get developers on board. That takes about four months. What’s the point in letting tech columnists beat them up for four months?

Meanwhile HP could do some selected, favorable benchmarks that show the TouchPad is faster than the iPad. Then, at rollout, the marketing campaign could say that the TouchPad is more expensive because it’s faster. Of course sites like Anandtech.com might do an extensive analysis that reveals the whole truth, but HP’s ad campaign would be the louder voice. My guess: US$579 - $599.

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18 Comments Leave Your Own

RonMacGuy

“Meanwhile HP could do some selected, favorable benchmarks that show the TouchPad is faster than the iPad. Then, at rollout, the marketing campaign could say that the TouchPad is more expensive because it?s faster.”

And by the time this thing is released this summer, the iPad 2 will already have been out and selling like crazy with an even faster micro, more capability, and a lower price.

Sorry HP.

Bonus pariuri

HP has the worst customer service going. It doesn’t matter if you have a good product. You still need to keep your customers happy.I will buy a touchpad if the e is right and hope it syncs with HP printer and all my other HP machines.
bonus pariuri

Tiger

Just think of the marketing possibility.

Let HP TP you.

NOT

geoduck

I think it stands a good chance of selling in Enterprise space. If you’re a company running HP servers and HP desktops and your sales staff wants pads then HP pads are going to be an easy sell. The lack of an AppStore is secondary if it’s to be used with your companies web site and marketing material.

Come up with some way to use it for presentations, to show PowerPoint slides with a projector, and they have a winner.

mhikl

Apple has spent years (beginning before the iPhone) planning, modelling, testing tablet form and function. Differentiating form for the sake of difference is all it is meant to be, and not as an improvement on functionality. HP is above the herd and knows that to come closer to the best is to accept the good and follow; smart is to choose to innovate only where the best can be met or exceeded.

I wish HP the best of good fortune. Apple may have a worthy competitor, finally.

RonMacGuy

Very good point, geoduck. I forgot HP’s share of the enterprise.  But using the same argument, Dell Streak should be a huge hit given Dell’s share of the enterprise.  Yet it seems that iPad is having better luck “infiltrating” the enterprise than Dell is having.

Ray

You think Apple has more buying power then HP?  On what do you base this?  HP is one of the largest seller of PC’s in the world and here is no reason beyond Apple Love to believe Apple would have more buying power.  Sorry I wasted my time reading this.

John Martellaro

Ray: keep on reading a little longer:

http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20100218/apple-nan/

mhikl

Ron, aren?t Dell tablets small and unimpressive? HP seems to have something close to the Apple experience and look at the corporations that have embraced the iPad.

Ray, I don?t think you are informed about the extent of Apple?s purchasing power with suppliers. Apple?s suppliers are building and expanding plants just to keep up with Apple orders. There may not be suppliers to meet the needs of others such that costs can be negotiated.

Continue to read The MO and these facts will become known. Check out other sources of information, too.

Tiger

I have to answer this. Does the second largest corporation in America, which is on tap to become the largest by mid-2012, have more buying power than HP?

From just yesterday:

?Verizon hasn?t officially released numbers for its first round of iPhone sales, but some estimates put the figure north of half a million units. This and other news drove Apple shares to a new high on Tuesday, and some analysts were left to conclude Apple may very well be the most valuable company in the world within a year?s time.?

RonMacGuy

Plus, Ray, buying power related to all things iPod/iPhone/iPad/Macbook Air is significantly different than what HP has buying power over (like cases, DVD drives, hard drives, keyboards, motherboard-type memory, desktop/laptop micros, etc.).  Like it or not, this type of technology is pretty much all new to HP.  They don’t have the history like Apple does with iPods, iPhones, etc.  But I suspect Ray has left the building…

geoduck

But using the same argument, Dell Streak should be a huge hit given Dell?s share of the enterprise.

Logically yes. However among people I know in the business Dell is getting to be known for poor quality and poor customer support.

Ion_Quest

Have to wonder if the iPad2 will start at $600?  Remember how the Mac mini first started @ $500, then $600 and now $700?

mhikl

But I suspect Ray has left the building?

ha ha!

Tiger

Geo,

Dell’s become known for those too among investors. What else explains the fact that the darling of Enterprise has seen it’s stock price fall to $13.78 and market cap run a measly $27B. I recall when Apple had those same stats, the Death Knell was in full force!

Has Dell become the next Gateway, destined to fade into oblivion?

geoduck

Has Dell become the next Gateway, destined to fade into oblivion?

Boy I hope so. I’ve gotten really sick of fighting with Dell’s crappy support to replace Dell’s crappy parts. For a few years you could at least get good support from their Server side but that’s faded too.

mhikl

[quote author=“Tiger” date=“1297397571"Has Dell become the next Gateway, destined to fade into oblivion?

Michael Dell got old. Steve jobs says young. At heart and mind I mean.

One of my best friends died two years back. He was 88 with a crystal clear mind, photographic memory of his years as a soldier in WWII, able to move among any age he talked with as an equal, even if you were sixty years younger. I remember saying to him ten years earlier, “if you didn’t look in a mirror and see the wrinkles on your face or think about the ache in your bones, in your mind, how old are you?” He didn’t miss a beat and replied, twenty-seven.

Twenty-seven marks the end of puberty. Facial expression recognition isn’t complete until about that age.

Michael crystallized on making money; Steve stays young on making the future.

rajz2011

Apple iPad has already set a market of its own and given the features it has along with the Apple brand name it carries, Hp Touch pad should have really special and exciting features to compete with Apple ipad. But the feature set being the same, Apple might sue them as they have copied the features. Wiki leaks has published a number of documents online in this matter. http://fms.nu/eC7P4y

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