Best Buy wants HP to take their tablets back

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You have to wonder what genius thought the HP TouchPad was a good idea in the first place. Competing with the iPad is something that even Android tablets are failing to do, even if they have better hardware and an at least somewhat competitive software selection. When HP then put yet another tablet on the market which can’t compete with either tablet for neither software nor hardware, it honestly wasn’t a long shot to predict it would fail miserably. That prediction has become reality and even with discounts left and right the thing simply isn’t selling.

Sources now tell AllThingsD that the US consumer electronics chain Best Buy has had it with the TouchPad and wants HP to take them back. Out of a stock of 270,000 units, only 25,000 have been sold – and that number might not even include returned units. Those are not good numbers, and you can’t blame Best Buy for not wanting to sit on 6 times as many units as they’ve sold just to hope they’ll become popular. Keep in mind that the TouchPad is brand new on the market, a time when actually popular products are sold out all over – as was the case with the EEE Transformer for a while, and which is still true for the iPad 2 in parts of the world (like here in Norway). It’s therefor unlikely tat sales will explode, even if there might be bundles offered now that schools start (HP does make lots of computers after all) or near the holiday season. I wouldn’t hold my breath though, and frankly I’ll be glad if the TouchPad disappears off the face of the planet. Competition is great for forcing companies to be innovative, but the TouchPad isn’t competition – it’s background noise. I’d rather see more consumer support for Honeycomb so that it becomes enough of a gold mine to bring it up to iPad levels of software and accessory support from third parties.


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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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9 thoughts on “Best Buy wants HP to take their tablets back

  • If I had the money I would buy this. There are very few tablets with a 4:3 screen ratio (which is what I want) and all I need for software is a media player (especially Flash), browser and eBook reader. Don’t care about app stores or games or cameras etc. I just hope by the time I’m ready to buy there is a still a 4:3 option not called iPad, lol.

    Love your site, Andreas!

    • I agree, 4:3 is definitely the way to go. Widescreen is great for video, but honestly, that’s not even on the top 20 list of things I do on a tablet. When I have a lightweight, thing tablet the size and shape of a magazine/book/newspaper, well, then I’m going to use it to read. And you don’t read in widescreen/highscreen

      • Andreas, what do you think the reason is for the lack of 4:3 tablets? What I really want is an eBook reader that has a good browser that doesn’t choke on Flash. I guess I’m not a typical user since I don’t care about email or Facebook or 3G etc.

        • I’m guessing they simply want to be “modern”, as everything else is widescreen these days. With HD video playback support, you do get quite a bit out of a resolution of 1280×800 widescreen, while still being able to “fit” an iPad or TouchPad’s 1024×768 resolution inside that resolution so you don’t lose any short-side resolution but instead just gain long-side resolution. That means you can still read document as well (actually slightly better, from a purely resolution point of view) on a Honeycomb tablet, you’ll just end up with a lot of space left over. Some people prefer that as you have the best of both worlds, but I honestly prefer 4:3 for everything since it’s the physical format I want and it’s especially noticeable when using a stylus, since both widescreen and 4:3 tablets are roughly 10″ meaning that widescreen ones loses physical screen real estate for stylus interaction. Widescreen tablets are sort of like writing on a vertical piece of toilet paper rather than a A4 sheet due to their screen ratio.

          Why do you absolutely want flash? Extremely few services are flash only today as the vast majority has added a HTML5 counterpart which works on the iPad. HTML5 is a much more efficient format too, so tablets that can view flash might end up choking on content that the iPad can display just fine with HTML5

  • I want flash for the ads :)

    Seriously, I would like flash because I’d like to watch documentaries online. I didn’t realize that HTML5 was so wide spread these days so it may not matter as much as I thought.

    A 1280×1024 screen would be awesome for reading. Somebody make it happen!

    Thanks for your insights.

      • Mostly just the usual suspects like youtube and google. Thanks!

          • Well, I guess my brain is full of disinformation about the iPad then. I thought the big knock against it was you couldn’t play youtube vids. I knew about html5 but had no idea that it was so widespread already.

            Anyway, I won’t be buying a tablet until early next year so I’ll see what is available in a 4:3 tablet and go from there. Thanks for your help.

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