The TouchPad is HP’s wannabe iPad rival. Or, according to the guy in charge of HP in Europe (Eric Cador), it’s more than a rival:
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.
That fits nicely with the tradition among iPad rivals of doing some great trash-talking before ever even being released on the market. RIM claimed the Blackberry PlayBook was ‘way ahead’ before it ever hit the market – and that hasn’t turned out so well so far.
HP’s boast is an even better one. They’re going to be better than Number 1. That’s at some future point of course, because right now they don’t even have a number – because the TouchPad hasn’t been released, doesn’t even have a definite release date, and for now is just vaporware with a copycat name.
Here’s another great quote from Mr. Cador, when asked about rivals like Apple and Google:
… only one company plays in both the consumer and business and world. We tend to talk about technologies. But the way the user is going to look at tablets means it’s about experience. The way the corporate is going to look at it is to say that its employees, who are also consumers, have got to like it and it’s got to be secure. We’re going to deliver that. Beyond that, it’s about marketing and branding.
The iPad’s enormous adoption rate among Fortune 500 companies seems to have escaped his attention – as has the fact that Apple’s mobile devices are the ones that are huge hits with consumers, not those coming from old-school PC manufacturers like HP. It’s Apple devices that are being adopted by employees and C-level execs alike. Oh, and marketing and branding, last time I looked, are areas that Apple does pretty well in as well.
Somebody should offer a course on trash-talking to some of these RIM and HP and MS execs. Let them know that it’s best done when you have actually done something, anything, that can back it up.