Posted by Greg Mills

As I read the “hands on reviews” by tech news writers on HP’s new “TouchPad” the comparison with iPad is obligatory. Just as consumers compare all tablet computers to iPad for price, features and Apps, tech reviewers do the same thing.

At the end of the day, what you get for your money is the moving factor in the marketplace. If you can get 80% of the value for half price, you might sell something that isn’t that great. When you try to sell a flawed product at the exact same price point as the “gold standard product”, you are just out of luck.

RIM has sold about 1/3 the RIM PlayBooks they expected to sell for very predictable reasons that also are dooming HP’s new TouchPad. While sort of solid in hardware aspects, both devices fail to offer critical features and both support an OS platform without enough apps to appeal to consumers.

Successful platforms are a complicated multifaceted issue. Developers are smart people and won’t support a platform that won’t make them money. Both companies failed to properly support developers with good tools to build apps. Both launched without enough of an inventory of apps to appeal to buyers of tablet computers who are savvy enough to want a broad selection of apps that will run on a particular new tablet.

Then there is the price point. Apple has priced iPad so aggressively the competition is completely shut out of the market. While tear downs of RIM’s PlayBook and HP’s TouchPad indicate there ought to be a profit in them, the realities of the slow market for them makes the overall cost of development and poor sales numbers quite discouraging for the “iPad killers” being launched.

Who wants a lackluster HP TouchPad or PlayBook when for exactly the same money you can buy an iPad?