Will The TouchPad Be HP’s Tamagotchi?
What on earth is going on at HP? Now you see the TouchPad, now you don’t, now you may see it again. HP is to make another batch of TouchPads. Don’t know when, don’t know the price, but more are coming.
HP CEO Leo Apotheker’s decision to scrap the TouchPad less than two months after its launch dismayed hundreds of HP-ers who thought they’d produced a great product.
Now it seems Apotheker is un-scrapping it.
No one knows how many they will make or what price they will sell for, and HP is hinting there may not be enough to go round. “
“We don’t know exactly when these units will be available or how many we’ll get,” says HP’s Mark Budgell, “we can’t promise we’ll have enough for everyone.”
Launched in July at $500 the TouchPad price was quickly slashed to $400.
Then, when HP CEO Leo Apotheker decided to axe TouchPad they put up outstanding stock for sale a $99.
There was a huge rush for product with retailers’ sites crashing as orders piled in.
According to IHS iSuppli the Touchpad costs $306 to make so, at $99 HP was making a $207 loss on every one.
Is this clever marketing as when the Japanese created a cult around the tamagotchi electronic pet?
Tamagotchi manufacturers would create shortages, then put around rumours when the next batch would be out, and then more rumours about which stores would have them.
This created huge crowds and excitement in the streets and built up a mythic mystique around the product.
In the same way, when the $99 TouchPad was announced, web-sites were posting sightings of web-sites selling device which then got swamped with demand.
Is HP clever enough to run this kind of marketing wheeze? Is it going to elevate the TouchPad to cult status?
Or is it just demonstrating its inability to run a whelk stall?