Todd Bradley talks TouchPad - How HP is driving for success 136
We've heard plenty of talk from Jon Rubenstein (former CEO of Palm), Leo Apotheker (CEO at HP) and even Eric Cador of HP Europe about how HP plans to have a successful launch of the TouchPad this Summer, and now yesterday Todd Bradley stepped up with an interview from Bloomberg to talk more about the coming months at HP. It's pretty clear the direction that HP needs to go in the next few years. More and more of their buyers are switching from personal computers and large home networks to mobile devices and tablets, they'll need to get away from the Microsoft-Intel ecosystem if they're going to be switching in that direction as well. For HP to stay ahead as the Number 1 computer manufacturer in the world, it's going to need to have some early success in the mobile space; that's where the TouchPad comes in.
Want to know more? Hit the break below.
During his interview, Bradley addressed three areas where the TouchPad needs to dominate once it's released, and how HP is working to put the TouchPad on the score board as early as possible. The first point is easy to respond to: HP needs to create an ecosystem that rivals Apple in terms of ease of use and desire to use it. Since HP already manages both the hardware and the software of the TouchPad, they almost immediately get a big advantage on competitiors who are using Windows or Android OS's on their tablets.
Another area HP will need to dominate is in app availability. We know that there are a number of native TouchPad apps already in the works, but Bradley has given us a clear look at precisely how many there will be at launch. 300, he says, which is a far-cry from the 90,000 apps available for the iPad, but definitely looks better than the 50 that Honeycomb had after a month (and probably still more than what the Blackberry carries). Of course, they can't stop there, and HP knows it. They are apparently trying to convince other developers, like Netflix, to join the party by offering them featured listings in services like webOS Pivot.
As something we had not heard about before, he also mentioned a recommendation engine for TouchPad owners to find new apps that are related to their interests, though he didn't mention how those details are aggregated or in what manner those apps will be suggested. But with Pivot, a large number of native apps and HP actively looking for developers to fill gaps in their catalog, the TouchPad might quickly be on the same level as the competition with number of quality native apps, or so they hope.
Lastly, and probably the most important point, it doesn't matter if HP has the huge catalog or competitive ecosystem. If the devices aren't selling, they simply are not selling. As we've seen all along, HP is ramping up a nice marketing campaign for all of their webOS devices. Besides the "hundreds of millions of dollars" that they're spending on the marketing blitz with celebrities like Jay-Z and Manny Pacquaio, HP is also sending out representatives to 600,000 retailers (not including all of the Best Buy's) for training purposes, as well as using their 20,000+ sales force to focus in on large corporate customers to gain a foothold in the tablet world. Those are numbers not to be taken casually, that's for sure.
Even with all of that setup, though, there is still always a big risk with such large undertakings. As Rubenstein says at the end (in a much humbler fashion than his colleague at the EMEA), "We have a really good opportunity to become No. 2 in tablets fairly quickly. Possibly No. 1."
What do you think? With everything that HP is putting into the campaigns, the app catalog and the ecosystem, will they see enough success to possibly carry them over to the top of the pyramid? Or is it going to take more time than they have, since they're entering the game a bit late?