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惠普:TouchPad将超越iPad和Android平板电脑

2011-06-10  述古斋

    惠普(Hewlett-Packard)一位高管日前表示,公司即将推出的TouchPad平板电脑将击败iPad,成为市场上“冠军中的冠军”。这项大胆的宣称已不仅仅是自我吹捧。如此具体的比较可能会让惠普声誉受损,即便惠普的平板电脑确实优于iPad,但如果销售不如iPad的话——这是很可能出现的情况,毕竟目前苹果(Apple)的iPad市场份额超过80%。

    据《每日电讯报》(The Telegraph)上周末报道,惠普欧洲区负责人艾瑞克?卡多在戛纳的一次新闻发布会上宣称,“在平板电脑世界里,我们将超越第一名。”第一名显然是指iPad。但基于惠普WebOS操作系统的TouchPad同时还必须击败强劲的第二名——谷歌(Google)的Android操作系统;和iPad一样,Android一经上市也大受欢迎。目前,这两个平台都有数千位软件开发者为其编写应用程序。相比之下,WebOS的签约开发者仍屈指可数。惠普自称其优势在于许多为Web编写的应用程序只需略做修改,就可以在WebOS上运行。

    没错,但即便只是略作修改,也必须要让开发者相信花这些时间是值得的。如果研究机构高德纳公司(Gartner Group)的预言者值得信赖,那么惠普即使是要成为平板电脑市场上的重要一员,希望也很小,更别提赶超大踏步前进的苹果了。高德纳认为TouchPad的市场份额永远也不会超过4%。正如TechCrunch的马特?伯恩斯写道,“惠普生产的硬件不赖。结实,可靠,制作精良。但这还不够。”事实可能最终证明WebOS的出现太晚了。

    TouchPad将于今夏上市,据报道32G版售价599美元。这样的价格定位可能说明惠普并不打算在消费者购买决策时考虑的第一个数据(即价格)上展开竞争。

    A Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) executive said the company's forthcoming TouchPad tablet computer will be the "number one plus" product on the market, besting the iPad. It's a bold claim, one that goes beyond mere puffery. By being so explicit, the company risks some reputational damage even if the tablet really is better than the iPad, but doesn't sell as well -- the most likely scenario, given that the Apple (AAPL) iPad now owns more than 80% of the market.

    The Telegraph reported over the weekend that Eric Cador, HP's European chief, made the claims during a press conference in Cannes. "In the tablet world we're going to become better than number one." That's clearly a reference to the iPad. But the TouchPad, based on the company's WebOS operating system, will also have to beat a strong No. 2 -- Google's (GOOG) Android OS, which, like the iPad itelf, has a huge head start. Thousand of app developers are writing for both platforms. Only a handful have signed on with WebOS so far. HP says it has an advantage there -- many applications written for the Web need be rejiggered only slightly to work on WebOS.

    True, but even a little rejiggering must be viewed by developers as a worthwhile use of their time. If the prognosticators at the research outfit Gartner Group are to be believed, HP has little hope of even becoming a major player in the tablet market, much less of leapfrogging Apple. The firm says the TouchPad will never grow past a 4% market share. As TechCrunch's Matt Burns writes, "HP doesn't make bad hardware. It will likely be solid, reliable and well built. That's not good enough, though." WebOS might prove to be, if not too little, simply too late.

    The TouchPad will debut this summer, with the 32GB version selling for a reported $599. That's already a sign that HP is probably choosing not to compete on the one figure that all consumers immediately think of when buying, well, anything: price.

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