HP’s TouchPad tablet was released about a month ago at a starting price of $500—see our take on the device here—and the company has already announced a $50 instant rebate available for purchases between July 29 and September 10.
Some retailers, such as Amazon.com, are offering additional discounts as well: Amazon sells the 32-gigabyte version of the tablet—originally priced at $600—for $540 now.
In our TouchPad profile by Harry McCracken, the tablet garnered praise for its screen quality, audio features, and operating system, but stumbled when it came to running too many programs at once. It’s also slightly thicker and heavier than even the first-generation iPad and only counted around 300 TouchPad-specific apps at launch.
The bottom line, per Harry: “My advice to anyone who wants to buy a tablet right now remains unchanged: Get an iPad 2.”
And therein lies the rub for tablet makers. When trying to differentiate from the iPad, the most palpable difference capable of grabbing consumers’ attention is the price tag. Any tablet with a starting price of $500 or higher has a much, much steeper hill to climb right now.
This price cut is a smart move on HP’s part, as it seemingly demonstrates that the company understands how important it is to just get people in the door and using the platform. The TouchPad could probably even stand to have another $50 lopped off to really get people on board, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens around the holidays as well.
The more people with a TouchPad in their hands, the more apps that’ll get developed and sold, and the easier it’ll be for HP to sell future TouchPads, smartphones, computers and other devices running its WebOS platform.