What a difference a weekend makes! (Touchpad)

Discussion in 'iPad' started by redman042, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. redman042 macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2008
    Gotta say, it's an odd sight coming here to MacRumors and seeing several very active threads on a competing product. Especially one that was largely ignored by the masses and put down as a failure as recently as a few days ago. It's a telling sign... (more on that in a moment)

    The iPad is still a much better, more mature product of course. I've stuck with Apple through three generations of iPhones and two generations of iPads, and I'm here for the long haul as long as they keep putting out great products. The iPad checks all my boxes: design, performance, stellar manufacturer support, unprecedented 3rd party developer support. Simply can't beat it!

    That said, I have 4 (!) TouchPads on order. One for my household, one we will give as a gift, and two for friends who asked me to get the order in for them. After countless attempts I managed to grab the Amazon release that happened mid-day Sunday. I tried really hard too, because it's such an unbelievable deal. Heck, it took restraint not to order even more (imagining one in my bathroom, two mounted on my car back seats, etc.).

    Why, if I love the iPad so much? Simple. At $499, the TouchPad couldn't compete. It's just not mature enough to do everything you'd expect at that price. But at $100, it's insane NOT to try to get one. An advanced video player, e-reader and web surfing device at that size, speed, and battery life is worth well more than that. And with the recent OS update and the performance hacks, most of the early review complaints are pretty well addressed. It certainly lacks app selection, but base capabilities are pretty damn good.

    With our new TouchPad, we'll have a spare tablet around the house to entertain my daughter (or us, when my daughter is hogging up the iPad), a really nice photo frame, a great web browser, and a spare movie player.

    So back to my original point. HP claims WebOS will live on and just the HP hardware to run it will cease. They are seeking licensees. Rumor is they already have one lined up (possibly HTC). The only problem is, WebOS lacks momentum. Not enough people own one. Or at least that used to be true, before the fire sale. Now, even staunch Apple enthusiasts are falling over themselves to grab as many as they can at this price. So, all of a sudden the installed user base is going to increase by a huge factor. And the enthusiasm and press coverage is at a fever pitch. Nice move, HP.

    Many have pointed out that $100 tablets are a loss leader. No company can survive doing this on a continuous basis. That's why no one is. HP is doing something unique here. They are making a one-time, massive investment in the platform. Then they are going to throw all their weight behind the software and license out the hardware end. And it's well known that hardware manufacturers are getting frustrated with Android and its low margins and high fragmentation. WebOS could actually take off.

    Interesting times. Let's see what happens.
  2. lokster macrumors 6502


    Feb 7, 2010
    i completely agree, after purchasing one, id like to try webOS development, hack the thing to run android. This thing is is gonna be the foundation of a lot of homebrew stuff.

    id still use my iPad for more reliable work, but the touchpad is gonna be the guinea pig for testing
  3. MRU macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005
    Whilst there will inevitably be a cult following initially, after the initial fire sale it's going to be impossible to drive a strong ongoing following simply because the hardware will no longer be available and hence even with an android hack (which don't hold your breath for as it's taking forever for them to finalize the cyanogen hack for the nook color and its the same dev who says he will start working on the HP touchpad) so we could be looking at 12-18 months before you realistically see that. Even then it's not assured that everything will work.

    The touchpad at the moment is the ideal experiment toy, a geeks paradise.
    But after this initial swell - there is no sustainability simply because anyone going forward won't be able to get their hands on one.

    The Nook Color and other android homebrew communities are thriving (in their small masses) simply because anyone can walk into a store and buy one.

    In a few weeks time - the touchpad will be gone. So the chances for a future for homebrew is bleak and the momentum will not be able to sustain itself sadly because new folks will be unable to step on board.
  4. anjinha macrumors 604


    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Why would you want to run Android on it? Isn't the good thing about the Touchpad the OS?
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    ^ Because I believe Android will be developed further and WebOS won't. I could be very wrong.

    It is interesting to see those who did purchase the device suddenly turn. However, when you're faced with a competing device sporting the same price tag it is easy to be bias. When the device cost just a little more than a semi-nice dinner for two at an upscale restaurant or less than a bar bill for you and a couple of friends, it is easy to jump on the bandwagon.

    I've teetered on buying one. Each time I've been able to (because they're in stock) I opted not to. I'm not a developer, I don't think I ever will be, I'm not sure I need another device sitting around and I don't think I really want one; even at $100. I guess I just look around and see other things I really want that the $100 could go towards. Maybe I was too practical this weekend. :eek:

    Either way, it's funny to see the very people who bashed the device buy one up but again, the price is just right for everyone to shut their traps and pony up the cash.
  6. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2010
    Hanover MD
    I bought one, I might take it out and mess with it, but mainly got it for my mother to do skype video so she could talk to my son from it since she only gets to come see him 2 times a year.
  7. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Do you honestly believe that a company who abandoned hardware after 49 days, failed to release their flagship phone and garagesale their entire inventory is going to "throw all their weight behind the software"?

    Only a few months ago they revealed an entire business model where WebOS was the center of EVERY product they make (similar to iOS and Apple) but out of nowhere they not only quit WebOS, they quit consumer computer systems. So HP's goal isn't to be a world class WebOS developer, these moves indicate that they want out of the WebOS game completely.

    Its a shame because people undervalue a good OS and overvalue a large app catalog. MANY things within WebOS is more functional and elegant than both Android or iOS but where it falls is optimization. And considering the roller coaster ride the WebOS team had to go through they were simply never able to finish their work and what we have now is a product with tons of potential but not enough polish.

    WebOS will go down in history as a tragic story that didn't fail because it was a bad product, but because of bad business.
  8. MRU macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005
    ^ The meego development team at Nokia must be feeling just as shafted.

    Two good OS, but at least WebOS made it to it's third incarnation. Meego doesn't look set to survive its first.
  9. Batavian macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2011
    I agree with many of the posts here. I had several opportunities to pull the trigger on this, but when I really thought it out, decided not to. My reasons were...

    1) I already have a tablet (iPad2), a phone (iPhone4), and iTouch4. Do I really need to be carrying another device around? Maybe it would be nice to keep one at the cabin or the second home. But if I had either (2nd home or cabin), one would think I'd have enough money for another iPad.

    2) I thought as a gift for someone. Then I got to thinking about how I would feel if someone gave it to me as a gift. Gee, thanks Dad for lovely Palm Pre HD. You were too ***** cheap that I didn't even rate an Asus Transformer?

    The only compelling reason I found was to buy and resell on eBay. I think you could at least double your money for a new, unopened TouchPad. But I didn't want to be bothered with trouble. But more power to those that do. Easy money.

    The gambler in me thought briefly about the TouchPad as an Android device. Problem is, there is no such hack/root to do this. Only now are groups forming to develop the software. Could be some time, if ever, before this happens. Maybe months. In that time, what's to say that RIM doesn't dump the Playbook, Google dump the Xoom, Asus the Transformer, Toshiba the Thrive. Too much uncertainty. But for the gambler, more power to you and best of luck.
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Those are my points as well. In the end I love my iPad and while I could love the Touchpad, I just don't see it. I'm pretty in debt to Apple in my house and I just don't see this being a part of my life after the newness dies off.
  11. redman042 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2008
    Absolutely. Hardware is where the super-tight margins are. Plus there are all kinds of vulnerabilities like the availability of hardware components (Apple is cornering the market on capacitive screens and such). That's what HP is trying to get out of. It's a commodity game and they are done. Software is where the money is. There is more control, more profit, less vulnerability. Let someone else make the hardware, and pay for the OS.

    WebOS is surprisingly robust. It has a VERY solid, consistent, user-friendly UI. Many believe it is more advanced than Android. It just doesn't have the same level of developer support. Yet.

    There have got to be hardware manufacturers thinking hard about WebOS, especially ones who are growing tired of fighting for Android's table scraps (HTC?).

    Time will tell, and I'm happy with my TouchPad even if it doesn't happen, but I think it will. This OS is too far along to die.
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    If HTC picked up WebOS, I'd have to reconsider my position on a Windows 8 tablet.
  13. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    I have to disagree with this. It depends on your priorities. I don't have any desire for another tablet when I'm perfectly happy with the one I have, and yet, I'm perfectly sane.

    If I have $100 to kill, I'd much rather invest it in books, or video, or hell, filling up my car with gas!
  14. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    No one NEEDS a tablet... but you missed out. The hardware isn't as fast as the iPad, but it is still quite nice. WebOS is pretty durn good.

    Spoken like someone who hasn't spent any time using the Touchpad. Great device.

    First off, people are already putting Android on it.

    Second, putting Android on it defeats the purpose, IMO. WebOS is an excellent operating system.
  15. punchdrunk55 macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    For me it was a no brainer, I really don't "need" a tablet, I have a MBP for everything, a Ipod touch 4th gen for video, and a ipod video for music(i have a lot of music). The touchpad will probably replace the ipod touch at least until I get my iphone 5 (whenever Steve lets me have it). After that it will be useful around the house, I will probably give it to my family to use. It was just too good a deal to pass up.
  16. anjinha macrumors 604


    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    But there are already Android tablets with better hardware. One of the problems with the Touchpad is that the hardware isn't very good so I don't see why you'd want to run another OS on it.
  17. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    So the way to make a succesful mobile operating system ecosystem is to commit commercial suicide first? I'll put that in my big book of Don't ever try this! business strategies.

    WebOS is dead, especially as far as the Touchpad is concerned. Microsoft made a big play for WebOS developers last Friday, offering them training and incentives to work on Windows Phone projects instead. Over a thousand signed up the first day.

    There certainly is room for more than one smartphone/tablet operating system. But between iOS; Android; whatever RIM decides on, and the inevitable Microsoft juggernaut - I don't think there's going to be much left over for an OS without current hardware.
  18. Batavian macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2011
    Please show us one. I think a lot of people would be interested in seeing it.
  19. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Jul 28, 2007
    That's why I got the TouchPad this weekend even though I already own an iPad 2.

    Priorities. I was going to spend at least $100 for an in car entertainment DVD player for my 14 month old. The 9 inch DVD player at Costco I think was $130. The 7 inch DVD was $90.

    So for $99/$149 TouchPad (which I can buy a $10 headrest adapter on Ebay), the kid will love it. Plus it gets him away from my iPad 2. Kids love iPads (other any touch screens with their big displays that are capable of sound). I had saved my kid my old iPhone 3G. He loved it until he saw the big screen iPad.

    Now the kid's been playing with the TouchPad (in carpet area and supervised until my case arrives). He loves it.

    So if you have a purpose of for any device, it's well worth the money.

    I recommend the TouchPad to all my friends (without iPads) and specifically told them that the TouchPad is not iPad. It functions at about 80% of an iPad 2 in terms of speed. It can be a little clunky (even after the software update).

    But if they buy the TouchPad specifically just to browse the web and read amazon books, and read some emails, at $99/149, it's the perfect price to get those into the tablet market.

    So there are probably hundreds of thousands "on the fence" about tablets in general who probably purchased their first tablets this weekend at this incredible price.
  20. Mac.World, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    Mac.World macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2011
    In front of uranus

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