updated 10:35 pm EST, Mon March 7, 2011
HP and others redesign tablets, PCs in iPad 2 wake
The iPad 2 has triggered a minor panic among PC and tablet makers, including a possible HP change in strategy for the future TouchPad, insiders said late Monday. A number of notebook designers, including Acer, ASUS, and HP, have reportedly looked at adding tablet features into what were going to be conventional designs. Digitimes cited the example of a 10-inch Eee Pad's USB keyboard as an example of what sort of Changes might take place.
HP's approach would be in the reverse direction, according to the tips: the company would supposedly be transferring the development of the next TouchPad to its notebook division rather than rely on the former Palm team. The reasons weren't clear, but the company was already in the early planning stages and setting the product direction.
A switch wouldn't preclude the involvement of the former Palm team but would suggest that most of their involvement to webOS rather than the complete design, as they had in the past.
Regardless of HP's plans, other companies making dedicated tablets were also said to be planning urgent redesigns of their own. Two to three companies were postponing their tablets to rework them and compete more effectively with the upgraded iPad. In some cases, hardware was being moved back one to two months, while others might be canceled altogether, a second round of insiders claimed.
Others were also concerned that the price cut on outgoing iPads to $399 has made it impossible to offer a similar model at what Apple was charging. It's not known if they understood that the older models were on clearance and wouldn't be available permanently.
Sudden redesigns have been a recurring theme since the iPad 2 was introduced last week. Samsung stopped short of planning a redesign but admitted there were parts of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that were "inadequate" and hinted it would keep the price of the Android 3.0 slate in check instead of trying to charge a premium for what was no longer a superior competitor.