Why Customers Prefer iPad over HP TouchPad

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Even as HP showcased its HP Touchpad, a 10-inch webOS-based tablet, at its Americas Partner Conference this week, some partners expressed dismay over the ship date of the device.

Even as HP was demonstrating its HP Touchpad tablet device in a table top exhibit at its Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas this week, plenty of HP channel partners were walking around at the event toting iPads.

That's because Apple iPad enjoys one extremely tangible benefit over what HP's Touchpad does right now. Apple's iPad is shipping. Not even HP's top executives are using Touchpads yet.

HP told Channel Insider that its Touchpad device would ship sometime between now and June at prices comparable to competing tablet products on the market today. But that shipping time may not come soon enough for customers of VLCM, an HP channel partner in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Shaun Steel, partner and general manager at the IT solution provider, told Channel Insider that he has customers looking to buy iPad who don't want to wait until June or August (when the devices will likely be available through him) to get their tablets. And while they are very interested in the Touchpad because it supports Flash, something that Apple's iPad can't and won't do, they're ready to buy now. They don't want to wait anymore.

Another advantage iPad enjoys over HP's Touchpad when it launches – iPad supports VMware so that users can access Windows applications via PC-over-IP. HP Touchpad will ship with Citrix instead of VMware initially.

So what did Steel do while he was waiting for HP's Touchpad to be ready for primetime? He went through the long and difficult process of becoming an Apple reseller. And he has customers lined up to buy iPad.


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com