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Does HP’s TouchPad Firesale Show We’ve Got The Pricing All Wrong?

As we all know, over the course of the end of last week the HP Touchpad saw some very troubling news. First, Best Buy reportedly wanted a refund on over 200,000 Touchpads that they had ordered to fill their shelves.  Then HP announced it was moving away from webOS.  We now believe that Best Buy had been tipped off to the fact that HP was dumping webOS and didn’t want to sell a tablet HP wouldn’t support, especially at a premium price.

Over the weekend HP adjusted their MSRP pricing for the HP Touchpad to $99 for the 16gb version and $149 for the 32gb version. Sure at that price they’re going to sell and sell quickly.  In fact, as Phonearena reports, the HP Touchpad very quickly became the hottest item selling on Amazon.com.

More after the break

Now one thing is for sure, Apple isn’t going to move from their pricing structure.  Apple can command higher pricing that’s just the way it’s been.  They’ve never really shifted in cost per value for the entire ipod line since it’s creation, and the iPhone has stayed at the same price point for the current years phone.  We can’t expect them to even come close to adjusting the price of the iPad especially with it selling so well.

But what about our beloved Android tablets. Could we possibly see a shift in the Android tablet ecosystem from hardware to software?  It seems that every three weeks since the release of the Motorla Xoom the cost of the tablet has been cut substantially. Although the profit margin would shrink, could we see a shift in the paradigm especially going forward with Google and Motorola in the same family?

There’s been no real pricing rumors as far as the Amazon tablets are concerned but what if their plan is to take all of their online channels from music to books, games, apps and even the ability to buy the latest pair of jeans, technology or dog bed.  Does Amazon see something that the other OEM’s haven’t.

If Amazon has entered the tablet market to sell things from Amazon.com and not just to compete in the shiny new tablet landscape, some of these other OEM’s could be well, f*cked.  Jeff Bezos is no fool.  He has created the most trusted and strongest online brand in the world. Why on earth would he want to be in the hardware business?  After all Kindles weren’t created because Amazon thought making e-readers were cool.  Kindle’s were created to sell e-books.

Not every OEM has a strategic content partnership. Not every OEM can be successful in selling media and software, although it looks like they are trying.  Samsung with their hubs, and HTC with their movies.  Google will now have even more devices devoted for their movies and books. (Music is just a locker for now).

Google has been criticized as of late for buying Motorola and competing with their licensees, but haven’t the licensees been doing the same thing with their custom skins, email programs, book stores, movie rental sites and document creation apps?  If Google along with the other Android OEM’s could get a handle on these content, cloud based and productivity revenue streams the price could come down on the tablet itself and then you’d see some real saturation.