HP's TouchPad Might Be iPad's Top Challenger: 10 Reasons Why - Page 2

5. The HP brand will help

Like Apple, HP has become a well-respected brand in the technology industry. IT decision-makers are deploying HP machines in their organizations because of their reliability and affordability. Employees who like using those devicesbuy HP machines for their own home use. HP is a highly regarded brand in the computing market, and that should help it as it attempts to take on Apple in the tablet space.

6. The enterprise will listen

As mentioned, HP has a strong presence in the enterprise. And although the TouchPad is a more consumer-focused option than, say, the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, WebOS isn't necessarily a bad option for companies that don't want iOS and are looking to stay away from RIM's alternative. According to HP, WebOS will ship with full multitasking support, a full browser with Flash and HTML5 support, and perhaps most importantly for enterprise customers, unique integration with HP's smartphones. With the TouchPad and HP Pre 3 in-hand, users can tap the two devices together and share content between them. There's a convenience factor there that enterprise users especially like.

7. HP's market share matters

When one considers the popularity of Apple's current competitors in the tablet space, including Motorola and Samsung, they don't have the same market appeal in the computing space as HP. Although some debate whether a tablet can be considered a fully functional personal computer, consumers are increasingly debating whether to buy a new, lightweight PC or a tablet. Considering this factor as well as HP's dominance in the PC space, the company shouldn't have much trouble persuading customers to buy these highly compact, thin and lightweight tablets. HP's overall PC success should translate well into tablet success. And after all, HP is hardly new to the tablet space. It has been selling tablets for years for specialized applications.

8. Developers will support it

As Apple pointed out at the unveiling of the iPad 2 earlier this year, it's currently leading the way quite handily when it comes to application support in the tablet market. Android-based devices are still lagging far behind. But HP might not have as much trouble catching up to Apple's App Store as some might think. As noted, HP plans to bring WebOS to PCs and other devices. That means the operating system will have a huge installed base. And with a huge installed base comes developers. After all, app development is a money-making business. And the best way to make money is to bring programs to as many customers as possible. HP should be able to deliver an awfully appealing market for developers to capitalize on.

9. It has the cash to invest

According to HP's latest balance sheet, it has nearly $13 billion in cash on hand. That gives it more than enough cash to do what it wants in the tablet market. So, if that means the TouchPad isn't cutting it, no one should be surprised if the company tries again shortly thereafter with something better. If it feels it needs to acquire another firm to get it right, HP can afford to do it. The more cash a company has, the better its chances of taking on Apple, another company that's flush with capital.

10. The timing is perfect

Some companies that are competing against Apple have been timing their product launches all wrong. Motorola launched its Xoom before the iPad 2 hit store shelves. The RIM BlackBerry PlayBook came out too soon after the iPad 2 launch. HP, on the other hand, isplanning the perfect launch time for the TouchPad. During the summer, the iPad 2's allure has worn off a bit. Plus, the iPad 3's launch will still be months away. The timing on the TouchPad's launch is perfect. That should help it compete well against Apple.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...