CES is right around the corner and the first juicy rumor is that HP Palm will showcase the PalmPad, a tablet based iPad competitor running webOS. There is no doubt that webOS is ideal for a tablet format. Just ask RIM whose BlackBerry Playbook uses some of the nuances found in webOS. If the rumor pans out, what will it take for the webOS tablet to be a success.
Here’s our take.
- They must provide a launch date and we don’t mean the vague launch dates that accompanied the original Palm Pre and the Palm Pre 2. Provide a rock solid date in March, but don’t lead with available in Q1.
- Price it competitively with the iPad. By competitively, we mean less.
- Don’t lock it to Sprint. While 4G is great, there are plenty of cities throughout the US that don’t currently have Sprint’s 4G service. The idea of paying for a premium 4G data plan to use the PalmPad doesn’t sit well with us.
- Following up on the previous point, there needs to be a WiFi only version.
- Don’t forget about phones. Success of webOS will be driven by phone sales. Dropping major new hardware in January will help move units and get the solid user base needed for the tablet to succeed.
- There should be one compelling selling point, one advantage as to why a user will purchase a PalmPad over Motorola’s new Android tablet or the iPad. Take that one point and drive it home with heavy advertising. Yes, leave the creepy girl at home for this one.
- No carrier exclusives. Look no further than the Palm Pre launch on Sprint for reasons why they might not be a good idea.
- Drop the Palm name and go with HP. We all know the cord is getting cut. This is a new product category for Palm, but HP is well known in computers. Make no mistake, this is a computer, so brand it that way.
- Hardware needs to be killer. Motorola will be delivering some heavily touted specs and the iPad 2 is likely coming before the PalmPad is released (if that March date is happening). You don’t want to be the tablet on the comparison sheet that loses the spec fight. Saying you have the superior OS is not enough. Bring hardware that’s on par with the OS.
- The biggest hurdle is development of apps. Like it or not, developers have not flocked to webOS. iPad apps are not giant iPhone apps, they are specifically designed with a tablet in mind. webOS apps need the same kind of treatment.
Let us know in the comments if you agree, disagree or would like to add to the list. What does HP Palm have to do to make you buy a webOS tablet?