HP Gets FCC Nod For 7-Inch 'TouchPad Go' Tablet6:03 PM EST Thu. Aug. 11, 2011
According to documents that surfaced on the FCC Website Wednesday, the HP TouchPad Go will come in the same configurations as the regular HP TouchPad, with 16 GB and 32 GB models featuring Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi plus HSPA+ wireless broadband through AT&T, HP's carrier of choice for the forthcoming TouchPad 4G.
An HP spokesperson contacted by CRN Thursday cited the company's policy of not commenting on product roadmaps.
The absence of additional details about the HP TouchPad Go makes it tough to say whether it'll be a hit with customers. But a series of recent TouchPad price cuts, which began last week with a $50 back-to-school discount that has calcified into a permanent $100 discount, suggest that TouchPads haven't been selling well.
What's more, 7-inch tablets have had mixed results in the marketplace. Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy Tab has reportedly sold well since hitting the market last October, but Dell's Streak 7 and RIM's PlayBook haven't managed to attract the same level of interest from the tablet-crazed populace.
Gurpreet Kaur, an analyst at Gap Intelligence, a San Diego-based research firm that follows HP, says 7-inch tablets haven't sold well because 10-inch models are just as portable. "It's unclear if 7-inch tablets offer consumers many more benefits than the 9 or 10-inch tablets," she said.
HP partners that have been eagerly promoting the TouchPad are somewhat disappointed in the level of demand they're seeing for the regular TouchPad. But one source told CRN this lack of interest is more about the lack of WebOS applications that the size of the device display.
"I recently heard some feedback from a client of mine who has the TouchPad, and mentioned that since there are no apps available, he really has no use for it," said the source, who requested anonymity. "It's going to be an uphill battle, and HP should focus on building out their apps."
This isn't to suggest that there aren't HP partners who believe there's room in the market for both the 10-inch and 7-inch TouchPads. Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner Connecting Point, a Green Bay, Wisc.-based HP partner, says the TouchPad Go would likely have a much lower price point than the regular TouchPad, and its display would appeal to smartphone power users that crave a larger screen.
"It's a different play, and frankly, I'm jacked to see it!" he said.