It is common knowledge that Apple Inc. has taken much of the limelight for trending products in the tablet market. The Hp touchpad (web OS) was expected to pose a stiff competition for ipad and other competitors in the market but unfortunately, it failed to do so.
In fact, Apple’s ipad two stole the limelight after Apple Inc. launched the product in the first quarter of 2011. From this understanding, the Hp touchpad has been a declining product (but so are other tablets with the android operating system). Comparatively, Hp’s sales are a shadow of the industry’s giant, Apple Inc.
As you may know, in January 2010, it was estimated that Apple sold about three million ipads in less than three months (Nine-to-Five 1). In addition, throughout the year 2010, it was reported that Apple sold more than 14 million ipads around the world. Soon after the launch of ipad two, in March 2011, Apple sold more than 15 million tablets (Nine-to-Five 1). The Hp touchpad has only been able to sell a few thousand units.
In fact, it is known that the first launch of the Hp touchpad failed to meet your company’s expectations because few retailers reported good sales. Reports show that your company only managed to sell about 25,000 of the 270,000 units produced, thereby leading to the launch of the fire-sale offer, which marked a significant fall in projected profits for your company (Sheldrake 38).
The same reception that your company received in the US was no different for other markets across the world. For instance, in Europe, it was estimated that the Hp touchpad only sold 12,000 units across the continent, after which a lull in sales was reported. In addition, the Australian market did not react any differently because the Hp touch pad was on the shelves for only for days and it barely sold more than 1,200 units (Sheldrake 38).
Due to the poor performance of the Hp touchpad, many people started speculating the reasons for the poor sales performance of the gadget with some experts observing that the lack of Apps and the failure of your company to incorporate a lackluster advertising feature were the main reasons for the poor sales of the gadget (Sheldrake 38).
Some observers also speculated that the $99 fire-sale offer was part of an effort to get rid of your inventory, subject to the poor sales. Due to the above intrigues, Apple currently dominates about 75% of the tablet market in the world (Sheldrake 38).
Not many companies have undergone the experiences your company has had with the Hp touchpad but it is important to highlight that this experience can be used to better the performance of the Hp touchpad for the future. The fire-sale offer is one such experience but its importance will be highlighted in subsequent sections of this letter.
Competition in the tablet market is just one aspect of the tag of war between Hp touchpad and other products in the market because the main goal of these companies is making quality products (Nine-to-Five 1). Apple Inc. already has a strong reputation for making quality products but so does Hp. Going forward; Hp is expected to forge a formidable competition for Apple Inc. and other participants in the tablet market.
For instance, ipad two has been cited as among the highest trending products for UK and US consumers in 2011 (Shopvolution Ltd 1). Hp does not come any close. This trend needs to change. There is still enough room for growth and change because the Hp touchpad has a strong degree of usability considering it spans across business, education, healthcare and consumer sectors (Nine-to-Five 1).
Moreover, recent studies by Sheldrake show that the tablet market is growing with its increased popularity. In America, it is estimated that 19% of adults own a stake of some sort and 10% of the same focus group own tablets (Sheldrake 38).
Among the adult population, it is no secret that there are immense opportunities for growth. For instance, the 10% penetration rate of tablets in the American adult population indicates that about 90% of the market is still open to growth.
The uptake of tablets among the adult population is also steadily growing with recent reports indicating that the adult population owing tablets has increased by 18% over the past few years (Sheldrake 38). The same growth has been witnessed among e book readers but experts note that decreased costs of both gadgets may lead to the increased uptake of tablets and e book readers.
Nonetheless, despite the declining trend of the HP touchpad, it is crucial to point out that the technological world is subject to many uncertainties. This analogy means that there is room for improvement. This view is affirmed by the graph below which shows that Hp’s touchpad has witnessed increased tablet traffic compared to other android tablets
From the above graph, it is correct to say that, the success of the Hp touchpad needs to be guaranteed (in the future) because there is growing competition in the touch pad market. This competition not only comes from Apple Inc. but also other technological companies such as Google and Sony (Nine-to-Five 1). Furthermore, there are existing concerns regarding the Hp touchpad and webos such as the lack of a social network, the inability to integrate with cloud computing and similar concerns (Nine-to-Five 1).
Since the Hp touchpad does not trend now, it is important to ensure that this market status does not remain the same. This goal can be achieved by adopting a raft of recommendations that will be highlighted in subsequent sections of this letter. I hope that this address will be able to convince the board of directors that the success of Hp touchpad lies in constant innovation and addressing pertinent customer concerns.
The first component of the Hp touchpad that needs reviewing is its stylus. Your company developed the Hp touchpad with very little consideration of its stylus. Perhaps this view (of your company) stems from the commonly held belief that stylus does not have a place in tablet development (Raggi 6).
Though there have been tablets that have been developed with stylus, their success has not been realized because stylus has not been correctly applied (Raggi 6). Hp touchpad’s applications have a series of poorly developed applications. These applications have significant defects in them because Hp touchpad relies on the capacity touch screen. It is therefore important for your company to consider incorporating stylus into the gadget. This will improve the product’s usability (Raggi 6).
The second item that your company can do to improve the performance of Hp touchpad is to incorporate a sense of productivity to the gadget. Research shows that consumers want a product that not only provides entertainment but also gives them a sense of productivity (Williams 180).
Your company should especially consider this aspect in the product improvement stage of Hp touchpad because the current economic situation in most countries is not favorable to increased spending. Therefore, many consumers will be more attracted to a gadget that provides them with an economic benefit in the wake of poor economic performance.
The incorporation of the concept of productivity in the Hp touchpad should however be perceived as an improvement to the product because it would be unfair to say that the gadget does not have any productive elements in its application. For instance, the product has a word document-editing feature, and a program for developing presentations but none of these applications provide the productive features realized from conventional computers.
For instance, the lack of a keyboard is a great weakness of the Hp touchpad. Though I would not advise your company to copy another feature from a rival product, for explanation purposes, I would advise your company to develop similar features such as what the asus transformer does for other touch pads.
The asus transformer is proved to increase the productivity of touch pads such as transforming gadget into a notebook computer (Williams 180). Hp can therefore embark on a research and development process to improve the productivity of the gadget. This step eliminates the notion that the Hp touchpad is (almost) a pure consumable product.
It is also important to note that your company can adopt a consumer-friendly price strategy to boost the company’s prospects of achieving a high sales target in its future sales. I approve this strategy because it was evident from the fire sale strategy (which your company adopted) that price was a possible barrier to the sales of the hp touchpad.
With a sudden decrease in price, it was seen that the sales of the touchpad skyrocketed and most of the outlets stocking your products sold out in a few days. This event highlights a very important aspect in this analysis – consumers are willing to buy products at a relatively pocket-friendly price.
This event also puts to rest speculations about the quality of your product or its salient features being the main reason the product failed to meet your company’s initial sales target. However, this statement should not be misunderstood to mean that your company should not make any product improvements; it only stands to show that there is need for a careful balance between the pricing strategy and the product development strategy of Hp’s products.
From this understanding, I propose a flexible price strategy that guarantees profitability and commendable sales for your company. It is therefore crucial to ensure that your company carefully watches the market response with the launch of a new hp touchpad. When the uptake of the product is low, it is important to adjust the prices downwards to achieve higher sales.
Hp can also consider using windows eight for its next generation of touch pads because of the immense opportunities windows eight offers. Though there are concerns regarding the use of windows eight on tablets, it is important to note that when the specifications for the HP tablet are considered “a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core processor and a 9.7 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel capacitive touch screen display” (Sheldrake 38) windows eight would be successfully installed on the hp touchpad.
However, to stay on the safe side, it is crucial for your company to recognize the tremendous potential of building an Hp touchpad that effectively integrates with windows eight operating system. I say this with utmost surety because there is enough cause for concern to question the use of windows eight on existing Hp tablets. Using windows eight on the Hp tablet would be an interesting addition to the gadget because it will improve the user-experience.
There are many reasons to contemplate the use of windows eight operating system on the Hp touchpad. One such reason is that, windows eight is expected to ease the transition between applications in an almost natural manner (Sheldrake 38). In addition, windows eight will aid the increase or decrease of the size of different windows of the tablet (to the side of the screen) such that the user will find it easier to multitask.
Finally, it is important to mention a raft of other recommendations that can improve the uptake of the hp touchpad. Some of these recommendations are minor but indeed, they will contribute to the increased uptake of your product. One such recommendation is the installation of a rear-facing camera. Other tablets in the market have this feature and though it is important for Hp to be unique, it is vital for the company not to lag behind other companies in adding fancy features, which will attract more customers.
The installation of a rear-camera will not be a costly addition to the design of the touchpad and therefore, such a recommendation can be quickly adopted. Another minor addition to the Hp touchpad would be the addition of a powered USB host to facilitate the easy integration of the gadget with other devices such as a camera, PC and the likes.
Similar to the procedure for adding a rear-view camera, the inclusion of a powered USB host is not a costly addition. Finally, it will be important to include a mini HDMI to improve the user’s experience. These recommendations are minor and they are inexpensive. In fact, these recommendations should be considered before undertaking any previously mentioned additions.
The above recommendations are set to improve the performance of the Hp touchpad because they will solve some of the main inherent weaknesses of the gadget. However, it is in order to affirm that your company has done a good job in delivering a quality product in the market and as noted in this letter, Hp should realize improved success in its touch pad product segment. I hope you will consider some of these recommendations.
Nine-to-Five. Reality Check: Apple’s Ipad Has No Competition. 16 September. 2011. Web. 22 January. 2012.
Raggi, Emilio. Beginning Ubuntu Linux: Natty Narwhal Edition. London: Apress, 2011. Print.
Shopvolution Ltd. Top Trending Products of 2011 in the UK. 12 December. 2011. Web. 22 January. 2012.
Sheldrake, Philip. The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age. London: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.
Williams, James. Learning HTML5 Game Programming: A Hands-On Guide to Building Online Games Using Canvas, SVG, and WebGL. London: Addison-Wesley Professional, 2011. Print.