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HP has yet to prove it can compete in the personal electronics market. The company's last successful tablet-sized computer was the Compaq iPaq, which some time ago morphed into a series of smartphones and PDAs. HP last year was expected to unveil a tablet PC, and even leaked a video trailer featuring it, but that device was quietly canceled.
HP is not on the list of Top 10 mobile device manufacturers, and neither its webOS nor the Palm OS from which webOS was developed show up on the list of Top 10 smartphone sales by operating system, according to a new report released Wednesday by Gartner.
At any rate, it is Apple's iPad which sets the bar against which all other tablet PCs are compared.
However, that bar is high not just because of the features of the iPad, but also because of Apple's marketing machine.
For instance, as analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group wrote on Wednesday, a lot of noise stems from availability of iPad apps from Apple's App Store. However, Enderle wrote, the average user seems to only purchase five apps, which suggests that a newcomer to the market can succeed without the legions of iPad app developers.
Furthermore, iPad performance is limited by its single-core processor. However, Enderle wrote, the next generation of Apple iPad is rumored to be based, like the HP TouchPad, on a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, as well as front and back cameras.