Forrester Research Worksheet

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the wrong turn HP had high hopes that its TouchPad could catch up to Apple's iPad in the tablet marketplace. But after putting the device out for $499, the company saw few sales. HP then slashed the price by $50. Still, no sales. Next, a $100 discount arrived at retail stores, yet still, the TouchPad couldn't touch the iPad. Then at last, HP had a dramatic change of heart, deciding to discontinue the TouchPad line and radically reduce prices, to $99 for each device. Suddenly, HP had its Apple moment. Lines were soon out the door, with customers camping outside in the earling morning before retail stores opened. The TouchPad topped the charts at Amazon--sold out everywhere online including at Best Buy and other retailers couldn't…show more content…
In her Forrester Research report released Monday, Epps argues that when Amazon releases its tablet on the market, it has the potential to become the top competitor to Apple's iPad. The reason? It likely will be marketed at a significantly lower price. "If Amazon launches at a price point significantly lower than competing tablets--some sources suggest that it may be able to launch a 9-inch LCD touchscreen tablet for as low as $299--and has enough supply to meet demand, Forrester estimates that Amazon could sell as many as 3 million to 5 million tablets in Q4 2011 alone," Epps says--meaning Amazon's offering would leapfrog over competeting devices that have been on the market much…show more content…
Apple boasts 100,000 iPad apps, for instance. One reason Epps is so optimistic for Amazon's tablet is because it'll likely come with signifcant cloud services. Microsoft might have an advantage over others by offering Xbox Live accounts. Other tablet makers could introduce appealing features such as free six-month subscription plans to Netflix. (HP tried a similar strategy when it offered customers 50GB free storage on And Epps even imagines some could offer more innovative broadband models, like purchasing surfing time on an hourly or daily basis, rather than by contract or a monthly plan. The idea, simply, is to introduce more diversity into an ecosystem filled with poor iPad knockoffs. Now, it's clear that no tablet can match Apple's iPad at competitve or even slightly discounted prices--all have tried, and all have failed. (Samsung Galaxy Tab, Toshiba Thrive, HP TouchPad, BlackBerry Playbook--the list goes on.) Competitors must find a sweet spot in price to sell the tablet, possibly in the $300 to $399 range, and make up for any deficiencies through services. That's the only way tablet makers can hope to become second place to Apple. And as both Epps and Chowdhry remind me, second place--behind Apple--isn't even all that impressive. "If you think selling 200,000 or 300,000 over the span of two months or so is good, well then you are probably right," Chowdhry says. "But

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