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One Final Manufacturing Run of Touchpads 221

Accepted on the first attempt, lochnessie writes "HP has announced a limited manufacturing run of Touchpads to be available in the next few weeks. The HP employee making the announcement posted 'I think it's safe to say we were pleasantly surprised by the response' to their massively discounted, sold-at-a-huge-loss tablet."
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One Final Manufacturing Run of Touchpads

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  • by yog ( 19073 ) * on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @03:34PM (#37257110) Homepage Journal
    If they're selling for around $200 on ebay, maybe HP should try to sell them for $250 or $300, whatever their break-even point is (not counting R&D), just to keep their name out there. It seems like Marketing 101: if there's demand for your product, keep making it.

    Of course, I was against their pulling out of the PC and handheld markets. I was also against their buying Compaq to begin with. The more players out there, the more competition and innovation. With fewer players, we'll see a reduction in quality and an increase in prices. I think HP shouldn't walk away from an entire business like that. They should hire in some great engineers and great management and make a go of it, not just surrender and withdraw.
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @03:40PM (#37257176) Homepage

    if there's demand for your product, keep making it.

    I'm not sure that works if the reason for the demand is that you're selling it at a huge loss without any business model to recoup the loss.

  • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) < minus caffeine> on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @04:11PM (#37257540) Homepage

    Or 4) They liquidated their assembled units but still had remaining parts not usable for anything else. To liquidate said parts, it's easier to sell assembled units at well below cost than to try and sell the parts piecemeal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @04:24PM (#37257682)

    Probably they have stockpiles of things like cases or screens or other components that they want to run down. If the cost of assembling the parts into tablets is less than the $99 they can get for them (which it almost certainly is) - then it may just be cheaper to assemble and sell them rather than scrapping all of those parts.

  • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @04:31PM (#37257752)

    Then why would you make another run at a loss after you were sold out?

    Couple of potential reasons that aren't completely stupid:
    1: Stockpile of unassembled / partly assembled components that they couldn't find some other company to buy in the last couple of weeks. and
    2: Expensive to exit contract(s) with one or more companies at some levels of the manufacturing layers (component suppliers, final assembly provider).

  • Yeah but they are selling on Craigslist for $320 RIGHT NOW and from what I read the BOM on the 16gb is $318. Sell them for $350 and make a nice tidy profit.

    Sadly though this is why we are doomed and the far east will win, because nobody in the states wants to do shit unless "We can make iMoney nom nom nom!" and show constantly climbing profits to Wall Street, which is now just Vegas with nicer clothes.

    Meanwhile companies like Lenovo will be more than happy to take those 100 million plus 6% profits that the western CEOs look down their noses on because "Its not iMoney! Nom nom nom". i predict the OEM will die, replaced by the ODMs who will cut out the middle man and keep the 6% profits for themselves. I wouldn't be surprised if some Chinese company just takes the Touchpad design, slaps Android on it, and has them for sale at $375 by Xmas.

    I STILL think they are ALL missing the magic iPad killing price point though. Make a dual core ARM with 4Gb of storage and 512Mb of DDR2 for $199, with the single core going for $149, both running Android. You put that out and it will frankly slaughter as we have seen "good enough' and cheap kills should be the goal. Apple can keep the high end but the one that hits those price points with decent specs WILL take a HUGE chunk of the market, mark my words.

  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @06:38PM (#37259116) Homepage Journal

    However, this does prove EXACTLY how stupid HP is, if they killed it so quickly without knowing about 1 or 2 (whichever it was, if not both.) As for being "stunned" at the response--really? I mean, they got lukewarm reviews, but everyone said they were decent devices, and HP could have EASILY sold all of their stock at about $249 each*, and not looked quite so much like chickens with their heads cut off while doing so. The only message the $99 price sent was "We want out of this fucking business TODAY."

    And in case anyone is wondering why HP is doing what they're doing, read this. [] Very nice one-page summary from the Wall Street Journal.

    * $499: no sales. $449: no sales. $399: no sales. $99: SOLD OUT IN HOURS. Maybe there's a reasonable (though still not profitable) middle ground there somewhere...

  • Name a SINGLE component at the specs I called for that would kill those numbers, just one. A 1Ghz dual ARM? shouldn't be a problem. 4Gb of NAND? Dirt cheap. 512Mb of DDR3? beyond dirt cheap, Android? Free. And the $149 model would frankly most likely be the more profitable one, you could cut the NAND to 2Gb (both will have MicroSD slots of course) and a single core ARM at 1GHz I'm sure would be quite affordable.

    The problem is NOT the specs, the BOM, manufacturing costs, or even development. The problem is every damned western company wants to be Apple and won't settle for less than 30%+ profit margins. look at the Touchpad, you had a BOM for $318 and they were selling for $500. Even if you took out say $60 a unit for advertising (which frankly HP didn't do shit for advertising) they still would have been making out like fricking bandits and THAT is the problem. Honest 5%-10% profits simply aren't acceptable to the PHBs and Wall Street, it has to be iMoney.

    And THAT sir is why the far east will royally kick our ass. it isn't that American companies can't design and build great products, it is that our CEOs and PHBs are too fucking greedy and won't have anything less than 30% profit. There can only be one Apple, yet they would rather make nothing than not make iMoney on a product. how fucking sad.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe