Yesterday, HP introduced the Touchpad, an
tablet device that is programmed with web technologies. While this
certainly isn't the first attempt of a vendor to compete with Apple on
the tablet market, I am convinced the TouchPad is a true challenger to
the iPad. There are three reasons why the TouchPad might be a real
contender: the programming environment, the manufacturing process and
security. HP is definitely doing something
right. Never before has one single Tablet thrilled the interwebs as much
as the TouchPad - except for the iPad, of course. Even die-hard Apple fans are thrilled.
Here's why I think HP's TouchPad will score a considerable market share:
- The manufacturing process. HP has a very powerful production pipeline, capable of pumping out high volumes of devices. In Q4/2010, they shipped 17.6 million PCs (Apple sold 7.33 million iPads in the same quarter). So if they are serious about it, it should be easy for HP to both produce and distribute high volumes of TouchPads.
- Security. When it comes to enterprise computing, security becomes a vital feature of your product. CIOs need to make sure to not compromise their company's security by introducing products and devices that have no proper support for security mechanisms. There have always been security concerns with respect to the iOS platform: for a long time, there hasn't been a way to nuke a lost iOS device remotely. It wasn't before iOS 4 that Apple introduced data protection APIs to secure data that apps store on the device. WebOS has several security features built in (not bolted on later) which make it rather attractive for enterprise computing right from the start.
It's my firm belief that the release of the HP TouchPad is a milestone for the perception of personal computing in the long run. It looks great, we'll see tons of great apps for it in no time and HP as a major computer vendor has the power to push it to the market.