You’re Talking A Lot of Smack to Be So Late to the Tablet Game, HP & Microsoft

Apple and Samsung are currently at the top of the mobile ladder.  Though they have a lot to boast about, with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 being chosen as the tablet to store the highlights of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign in digital format, and with Apple’s iPads still in high demand, the two don’t seem to have two cents to spare on their other competitors – not like they have any real ones at the moment.

But the underdogs of the mobile market seems to be the ones doing all the talking, smack talking, that is.  Hewlett-Packard sees Microsoft’s Surface tablet as no competition, because of its price and how things get “kludgey” the more you use it.

“I’d hardly call Surface competition,” Bradley said in an interview with IDG Enterprise. He listed several reasons, “One, very limited distribution. It tends to be slow and a little kludgey as you use it …. It’s expensive. Holistically, the press has made a bigger deal out of Surface than what the world has chosen to believe.”

The funny thing is, HP doesn’t have a tablet to offer anytime soon, but says that consumers can expect something great in the coming year.  It’s likely to be a revamp of the HP ElitePad introduced last October.  HP says consumers can expect more from the tablet, as it brings forward-thinking and backward-compatibility at the same time.  The tablet runs Windows.

As for their smartphone offering, don’t hold your breath.  HP know how tough it is to break into the smartphone business.  They’ve tried that before and failed, so you can’t blame them if they’re a bit cautious this time around.

As for Microsoft, they don’t see anyone, HP or otherwise, as competition.  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called Android’s ecosystem “wild,” “uncontrolled” and susceptible to malware, while Apple’s ecosystem was described as “high-priced” and “highly controlled.”  He even laughed at the price of the iPhone, stating that consumers are getting ripped off for something that doesn’t even have a keyboard.  Ballmer stated that there are lots of Windows Phone-based smartphones in the market that offers far better features and user experience than Apple’s iPhone, all for far less than $500.

Though Ballmer won’t reveal the exact number of Surface RT sales so far, sales are off to a modest start and he’s positive that the tablet and Windows 8 will surely pick up during the holiday season.  Ballmer blames the slow start to the fact that the tablet has limited availability, but is quite proud of the fact that it already went out of stock in some of their online and retail stores.

And there may be something to Ballmer’s bragging.  According to a recent report by adDuplex, though the Surface RT is the most popular single device with an 11 percent market share, HP’s Windows 8-based computers are doing far better at 17 percent.  Still, coming in at number two isn’t bad especially with the fact that HP is in serious trouble ever since Lenovo took the prime spot from them earlier this year.

What I’ve learned growing up is that people who send a lot of smack talk your way are often deflecting their own insecurities.  They talk big because they know they can’t compete or deliver.  Let’s just hope this tablet game isn’t high school all over again.

With further analysis on the topic is contributing editor John Cassaretto, who appeared on this morning’s NewsDesk segment with Kristin Feledy. See the full clip below.