HTC launched its Android-powered Jetstream tablet as HP's TouchPad tanked and other Android tablets had poor sales. But the question remained if the tablet had that special something compared to the market-leading iPad 2.
The 10.1-inch Jetstream, which previously reared its head in several tech blogs under the name Puccini, runs on Android 3.1 or Honeycomb and has an 800 x 1280 pixel LCD capacitive touchscreen. The tablet sports a primary 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash camera with video recording at 1080p, and has a secondary front-facing 1.3 MP camera. The device is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, Qualcomm MSM8260 chipset and has an internal 32 GB storage with 1 GB RAM, and a microSD slot which supports up to 32 GB.
The 9.7-inch Apple iPad 2, in comparison, comes with an LED-backlit IPS TFT, 768 x 1024 pixels capacitive touchscreen and runs on iOS 4. The device sports a 0.7 MP, 960 x 720 pixels rear camera with video recording at 720p. A VGA camera has also been provided for video chat. The tablet is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU, Apple A5 chipset and comes in 16/32/64 GB storage with 512 MB RAM.
Though HTC Jetstream's specs pack a punch as compared to iPad 2, the device still lacks the graceful figure that Apple offers. Whereas iPad 2 is just 0.34-inch thick and weighs 1.3 pounds, Jetstream is a bit hulking with a 0.51-inch thickness and weighs about 1.5 pounds.
Probably the biggest drawback for the Jetstream is its price. It is priced at $699.99 with a two-year contract. An entry-level 16 GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2, on the other hand, is available for $499. The most expensive iPad 2, which comes with Wi-Fi + 3G and 64GB memory, is available for $829.
The only way HTC can challenge the dominance of Apple is by slashing the price of Jetstream, as other players in the market have learned. HP did the same when the company found that its TouchPads were gathering dust. It slashed the price of the tablet to $99. The HP TouchPad fire-sale, undoubtedly, was a major success with customers lined up to buy the WebOS-running, dying tablet.
This proves that the sale of a tablet is price-oriented and extremely price-elastic, and that its sale never depends on what specifications it is carrying. Jetstream could be a real contender if its price were reduced.