Cannes is known for its outrageous film festival and extravagant parties, so it seems perfectly reasonable that it would be here that HP would boast that it will be “better than number one” in the tablet market.
Better than number one? Is there such a thing? Of course there is, and according to HP it’s called “number one plus.” HP has yet to launch its webOS-running TouchPad but it is supremely confident that when it does, it will be a runaway success. The company’s European head Eric Cador, speaking in Cannes, said: “In the PC world, with fewer ways of differentiating HP’s products from our competitors, we became number one; in the tablet world we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus.” I suppose we can’t have expected HP to talk down its tablet offering but surely number one spot would be good enough to start off with and then go for “number one plus” position with the TouchPad 2. But then again maybe we’re just short-sighted.
When HP announced the TouchPad at the start of February, there was a lot of excitement, particularly among the vociferous webOS community, that is until HP announced the tablet wouldn’t be available until the summer. We are a few months down the line and there is still no release date or price for the tablet announced. With most major manufacturers having released their tablets already, HP will be playing catch-up with an operating system which may suffer with a lack of support from app developers – a problem we already saw afflicting the BlackBerry Playbook. Cador pointed out that HP is the only company that “plays in both the consumer and business world,” which will be an advantage in attracting a wide customer base for its tablets.
While we applaud the bravura of HP claiming it will usurp Apple at the top of the tablet table, we have to say we remain doubtful that the TouchPad will have a big enough impact to become “number one plus.”