HP dropped the price of the TouchPad by $100 last week to $399 for the 16 GB models and $499 for the 32 GB models. The price drop was supposed to be a temporary one, but HP decided to extend the discount permanently. Smart thinking, considering the competitive environment for mobile tablets right now, with the steady success of the iPad and the recent launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Stephen DiFranco, senior vice president and general manager of the company’s personal systems group, said “As you may be aware, over the weekend we offered a $100 instant saving promotion through both our customers and commercial channels.
“Despite the very short runway, we were pleased with customer response and, as a result, have made the decision to implement a $100 price drop on the US list price of the HP TouchPad, enabling both HP and our channel partners to be even more price competitive in the marketplace. Effective immediately, the HP TouchPad 16GB Wi-Fi will now be available for $399.99 and the HP TouchPad 30 GB Wi-Fi will now available for $499.99.”
DiFranco further announced “Customers who purchased a TouchPad at the higher price can claim a coupon for up to $50 worth of purchases in the TouchPad App Catalog. Any other discounts, such as a $50 instant rebate recently offered to U.S. customers, no longer will be accepted.”
The price drop is a good move for HP to bring consumer attention back to the TouchPad, which has been on the market for several weeks now. HP’s TouchPad has been getting bad reviews from mobile experts and to counter-measure, HP has launched the webOS 3.02.68 at the start of this month, an update to its initial software offering. The update brings a number of bug fixes and enhancements, such as an improved auto-correct option for the on-screen keyboard, improved Email, the inclusion of a calculator and clock, faster video performance, smooth device rotation and faster web browsing.
We’re seeing tablet discounts across the board, as Motorola discounted their Xoom Android tablet, which is available in physical and online retailers including Amazon.com, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam’s Club, Staples and Walmart. However, RIM is offering their Playbook tablet at a similar price as the iPad2, at $499. RIM is also offering memory upgrade models to their base at $100 increments, $599 for the 32-gigabyte version, and $699 for the 64-gigabyte version.
Samsung has not yet offered any discounted price for its Galaxy Tab 10.1, but the first generation Galaxy Tab 7 price dropped quickly in late 2010 and early 2011, prior to the latest tablet release. Samsung is exploring European and Asian markets where Apple has fewer retail stores and the environment is more open to a variety of tablet offerings. Microsoft is also working on their next move, the possible Windows 8 tablet.
With the holiday season pending, tablet price wars are getting intense. The global market is also influencing tablet pricing. Consumers are getting more options as far as tablets go, and the increasing competition will certainly affect how consumers continue to drive the direction of the tablet market.