Hewlett Packard is rolling out its latest foray into the tablet space today, but observers and analysts believe that the valiant effort wont be enough to knock the reigning tablet king from its perch.
The Palo-Alto based company's tablet hit shelves Friday following much fanfare through out the week as executives touted the hardware and software to various media outlets.
But the response has been tepid at best.
Reviewers gave the device lukewarm reviews yesterday, generally advising against buying this first iteration of the TouchPad, despite its showing promise.
Despite its attractive and different user interface, this first version is simply no match for the iPad. It suffers from poor battery life, a paucity of apps, and other deficits, said Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal.
The TouchPad got 60 percent of the iPad's battery life in the reviewers test. It also only has a front-facing camera for video conferencing and 300 apps optimized for it at present.
HP does benefit from its acquisition of Palm last year, however, using the gained WebOS to power the software of the tablet. Reviewers praised the ease of use and intuitiveness, but said it may still not be enough to tackle Apple.
Ticonderoga analyst Brian White reiterates a Neutral rating on shares of HP, writing that he agrees with saying the TouchPad is no match for Apple's (AAPL) iPad 2.
The primary obstacle is that the TouchPad has the has the same price as similarly equipped iPad models while having several bugs, being relatively heavy, and lacking some hardware functions such as a second camera.
The major problem is the lacking app ecosystem, which simply can't stand against the house that Apple has built.
Apple's intricate digital ecosystem has clearly captured the attention of consumers and app developers alike, therefore, competing against the Apple platform will remain an uphill battle for competitors in the coming years, White told investors.
Apple's iOS platform has over 425,000 apps, including 90,000 apps optimized for the iPad, while the Android platform has over 230,000 apps.
In contrast, webOS will soon approach 7,000 apps and only 300 are being optimized for the TouchPad.
As such, we expect the iPad 2 to maintain its leadership position in the tablet market and our iPad unit estimate of 30.1 million in FY11 and 35.6 million in CY11 increasing looks conservative.