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HP may have sold just 25,000 TouchPads at Best Buy

updated 10:40 pm EDT, Tue August 16, 2011

HP may have sold 9pc of Touch Pads at Best Buy

HP may be having serious trouble selling the TouchPad at Best Buy. New leaks from internal HP reports claim that Best Buy has taken 270,000 of the webOS tablets so far but has sold only 25,000 so far, just 9.3 percent of its stock. The retail chain hasn't independently confirmed it, but corroborating AllThingsD sources claimed that the result was not only logical but might even be "charitable" as it omits refunds.

The sales rate may be so low that Best Buy is refusing to pay for inventory and triggering a possible revolt. HP is purportedly sending an envoy as high up as Personal Systems Group executive VP Todd Bradley on a direct visit to Best Buy's Minneapolis headquarters to assuage its management.

Other retailers may be facing their own problems. Envisioneering Group analyst Rich Doherty claimed that spot checks at Fry's, Microcenter, and Walmart have produced little reaction. HP's typical practice in PCs, of periodic and rapid price cuts, may have backfired. Buyers are deliberately holding off, since they think HP might cut prices again before long, he said.

HP hasn't commented on the claims and may try to downplay the TouchPad's performance in quarterly results due Wednesday. It might not have to as sales could be low enough to be immaterial from a fiscal reporting perspective. Officials may talk only about shipments and decline to talk about sell-through, or the tablets actually reaching customers.

The details if true would corroborate stories of non-iPad tablets seeing considerably fewer sales than shipments and could significantly derail HP's strategy. Long-term plans see PCs dual-booting webOS, but a customer rejection of the OS could see a rethink and little gain from having bought Palm in 2010. It may also create a large gap among analysts calculating market share, as many of these don't account for real sales and may see HP get considerably more share than owed.

Sluggish performance would come in spite of much kinder words about the TouchPad now that its performance and features have been given a significant boost with an over-the-air update.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +17

    drowned in an ocean of me-too tablets

    there's iPad and there's everything else. Even if TouchPad kicks butt, will anyone notice?

  1. Commodus

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Feb 2002

    +4

    Succinct

    @climacs

    Pretty good summary. It's not that the TouchPad is bad; it's actually fairly slick in some ways. But it's a slightly unique device that needs to be much more unique to stand a chance. Android at least has the apps and familiarity for some.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +8

    Does HP have a Visionary?

    These companies need people who really CAN think out of the box and productively. WIll they pay for it. Mistakes will be made. What they don't realize yet is that Apple said they worked on these things for YEARS! Copying someone else's toy won't make it your own. And apparently the copying wasn't even that good except in Samsung's case and now they are paying for that.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +5

    Too much inventory?

    One word. Arson.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    0

    iPad

    Unbeatable. Simply better.

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    +9

    Yet to meet

    anyone with an Android tablet. Android phones, yes. Android tablets? Not a one. It's been quite surprising to me -- I mean let's face it, there's no shortage of short-sighted Apple-haters out there ... but apparently $500 is the line where they shut up instead of put up.

  1. SergioRS

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2004

    +5

    Apps Apps Apps

    I bought my mom an iPad. The two overwhelming selling points for me: 1 button simplicity (she's 87, and it needs to be pretty damn simple) and APPS APPS APPS. Movies? Magazines? Newspapers? Foreign TV News? PBS? Stock quotes? There's an app for that. Have you seen the available WebOS apps? I think there's a wider variety for PalmOS Garnet. It's a 2 horse race and WebOS is headed to the glue factory.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    +1

    The only....

    non-iOS device tablet that is successful now is Nook. The price is on the dot and people like that. It's a good niche that Barnes and Noble established. Too bad WebOS is a late comer. But I see lots of WebOS is incorporated into HP's high-end all-in-one printers. Perhaps that is the niche they should stick to.

  1. brainiac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003

    +3

    My experience with HP

    Drive cost out of the business in order to increase profits until you have a disgruntled workforce and have lost your most innovative people.

    Keep product managers who barely know their product domain, customers, or market so that software is built based on the assumptions of developers who do not typically understand the market.

    Tell employees that they should be innovative in the old tradition of HP but do not provide an environment for them to be able to innovate.

    Tell employees that after a rash of acquisitions, HP will start to innovate again internally so there will be no need for additional acquisitions in the foreseeable future. Wait a couple of months and restart acquisitions.

    Have a "high performance employee evaluation" review each year which is more like a game of duck-duck-goose. It doesn't matter how good you are, the system will eventually purge even the best employees (happened a lot).

    Focus efforts on switching labor to "low cost" countries. This often results in the base functionality being created but not in a very usable way.

    Constantly tell employees that the way to new profits is to increase printed pages to increase printer supply sales and describing how cell phones are a great opportunity because people will want to print photos they take on their phones. People will want to print more, not less now and in the future.

    Create products assuming that once they are on the market the users will be the product champions and drive the ecosystem rather than HP.

    HP has been struggling with what to do in the tablet domain since at least 2008 with sluggish and heavy Android and Windows based prototypes. They are very slow to react in markets with products that have no wow factor.

    For years HP has been out of touch by creating a brain drain in their workforce and having their vision based on cutting costs rather than improving products. The Palm OS is another example analogous to buying a tablet and then not knowing the best way to leverage the resource so you just use it as a drink tray.

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