Undeterred by reports of the HP TouchPad's demise and Android tablets' anemic sales, HTC has announced the launch of HTC Jetstream, an Android tablet for AT&T's upcoming 4G LTE network.
The tablet earlier appeared in various tech blogs under the name Puccini. It will arrive in stores on Sept. 4.
HTC Jetstream runs on Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) and features a 10.1-inch display with a screen resolution of 1280x768 pixels. It is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It sports an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with dual-LED flash and also has a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera.
In comparison, the Apple iPad 2 rocks a 9.7-inch display with 1024X768 screen resolution. It is powered by a 1GHz dual-core A5 processor. It also offers two cameras - both rear and front and comes in 16/32/64 GB internal memory configuration.
Even though the HTC Jetstream looks well endowed in terms of specifications, it lacks Apple iPad 2's svelte figure. The iPad 2 is merely 0.34-inch thick and weighs 1.3 pounds. In comparison the Jetstream looks bulky with a 0.51-inch thickness and weighs 1.5 pounds.
And while HTC Jetstream certainly loses on the vital stats front, its biggest undoing could be its price. Priced at $699.99 with a two-year contract, the tablet beats iPad 2's price point by a mile. An entry level Wi-Fi only iPad 2 with 16GB internal memory is priced at $499 and the most expensive iPad 2, with Wi-Fi + 3G and 64GB memory, is priced $829.
HTC should have learned from the HP TouchPad fire-sale that the only way a tablet can compete against an Apple iPad is by slashing its price. Before HP announced the $99 sale of the TouchPad, Best Buy was complaining about its inventory of 270,000 TouchPads gathering dust. However, since the fire-sale went through, retailers have put up out-of-stock statuses on their websites. In spite of HP withdrawing support for the TouchPad, customers have lined up to buy the dying tablet, which runs on webOS.
The price-cut reveals that the tablet demand is extremely price-elastic and tablet manufacturers can compete with Apple if they lower the price of their tablets, although the Android LTE tablet pricing has gone south in relation to the above observation. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE Verizon versions are priced outrageously with two-year agreements: $529.99 for the 16GB model and $629.99 for the 32GB configurations.
Apple iPad 2's dominance reveals that merely competing on the basis of specifications is no deal. HTC Jetstream could have been a challenger, but with a $699 price tag, its looks a farfetched dream.