Has any other product ever become the number 1 seller on Amazon after it was discontinued?
If you thought this webOS fire sale weekend couldn’t get any crazier, think again. Best Buy has made an about-face and is now selling the TouchPad, limited to one per customer. Meanwhile, reports on Twitter and our tipline suggest that some of HP’s servers are starting to buckle under the load of new TouchPad activations.
I’d love to see the sales charts for the TouchPad since HP dropped the price like a stone. They seem to be flying off the shelves everywhere, which suggests they’ve flooded the market with upto 245,000 new tablets.
Of course, here in the UK, the best price you can get the 16GB Wi-fi model for right now is £349 - “Save £50.00” - what do they take us for?
Maybe things will work out with a better management head at the helm, to really give webOS that “scale” HP promised, whilst Rubinstein pushes ‘product innovation’.
Or maybe not.
I might be the only one who doesn’t think this is good for HP. It’s not that i’m against them licensing the OS, I’m all for that, and I’m a big fan of webOS, but I think they way they want to do it - wanting to have a strong relationship with a single manufacturer, rather than being “one of 5 or 6 OSs” - is short sighted and won’t pay off as they hope it will.
HP already have a huge amount of reach, and if they can’t make webOS succeed on their own, getting one other company distributing webOS with them won’t make a difference. They would be relinquishing control: for a deal like that of Microsoft and Nokia to be made in the first place they would have to hand over a lot, and although it sounds like HP actually want another company to shape webOS with them, too many cooks spoil the broth. Having two companies controlling the vision and progress of the OS I feel could really damage it.
It’s been proven by RIM that going it alone in this market now is a hard slog, Apple contradict the rule, but the reason for that is that they have an ecosystem, something which HP have in terms of hardware big time: they’ve got phones, tablets, with netbooks, printers on the way. They simply haven’t gained the traction (or the cool apps) to make people buy into that ecosystem though. For HP to maintain complete control of the OSs progress but hand it over to manufactures for the distribution side would be a great thing for consumers, manufactures would really have to compete on hardware.
If HP were to licence webOS though, i’d like to see them mimic what Microsoft did with Windows Phone 7 - finding a middle ground between Apple and iOS and Google with Android. Having several manufactures working with them to push the OS could do wonders to put traction and numbers behind it, so that webOS is something people want to own and developers want to build for. Of course, Windows Phone 7 hasn’t gained a huge amount of traction from doing this but webOS is a really phenomenal experience, people really do like it, it’s just that the scarce lack of hardware is hard to love. Because that’s where they’re hitting a brick wall. webOS is awesome, and once people use it they love it, getting it in the hands of those people is the hard part, and the only way to get past that is with multiple manufacturers.