HP exec bets Touchpad will topple iPad

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HP exec bets Touchpad will topple iPad

Tablet product differentiation easier than PCs.

HP’s European personal systems group head Eric Cador has laid down the gauntlet, claiming that the vendor's Touchpad will strip Apple’s title as king of tablets.

“In the tablet world, we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus,” Candor said at a press event in Cannes, according to The Telegraph.   

Topping Apple’s iPad will be easier than achieving dominance in the PC world, he said, where there were “fewer ways of differentiating HP’s products”.

If leaked Walmart documents were correct, HP plans to match Apple’s iPad pricing for its June release, narrowing differences to applications and the experience of its Palm-inherited webOS. 

The 32GB Touchpad will be US$599 in the US, according to Engadget. Australian pricing and availability is yet to be announced.

HP also had an edge over its tablet rivals Google, Apple and RIM, according to Candor, since it was the only company that straddled both business and consumer markets. 

“The way the user is going to look at tablets means it’s about experience. The way the corporate is going to look at it is to say that its employees, who are also consumers, have got to like it and it’s got to be secure. We’re going to deliver that. Beyond that, it’s about marketing and branding.”

But HP looks set to face stiff competition from both business and consumer rivals.

RIM’s 7-inch Playbook has achieved "steady" sales of an estimated 250,000 units since its mid-April launch, according to US analysts, and could hit a respectable 500,000 in its first quarter.   

Meanwhile Amazon is reportedly planning to release a seven and ten-inch device, code-named Coyote and Hollywood, and priced under its rivals at US$349 and US$449 respectively.   

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