I have now been the owner of a Touchpad for almost a month now. There is a lot that I love about the Touchpad and in many ways I am glad I purchased it. However, I feel that many people who purchased a Touchpad will have been disappointed by the differences between what was promised at launch and what they have received up uptil now.
The one overwhelming lesson that HP need to learn from this release is they need to manage expectations for the customers.
Promises were made and broken again and again, especially for UK / European customers, who are getting the worst of it.
Let me go through a few examples.
webOS issues / OTA update fix – There are several issues with webOS and HP have send that these will be fixed with an OTA update. Issue like not being able to delete an application for the fear of losing all application data is just crazy to leave action. We have now been promised this OTA for weeks, at the latest it was promised by the end of July. This deadline has now past, and still nothing. webOS v3.0.2 looks like a big improvement on what we have, so it is sad we are being kept waiting.
Build for Enterprise – At this time, apart from the web and email, I am really doing very little business work on the Touchpad. With no built in application to edit word processor or spreadsheets this is clearly not for enterprise. Yes, you can use GoogleDocs online, but the user experience is poor, and does not help if you are out of a WiFi area.
E-Book Reading (Kindle at Launch) – Well even for the US this was no true, a friend of mine purchased the Touchpad with Kindle being one of his main reasons for purchase. The US finally got Kindle a week or so ago, but the rest of us have been told be HP to “Just Hang On.”
HP MovieStore – The US now have this option, however, it seems that the UK version due to copyright laws etc is not going to be getting anything like this, anytime soon.
Touch to Share – In the UK it looks like the Veer is not being release and the Pre 3 is still a few weeks from release. So this feature is still unavailable to us at this stage.
Missing Application – Several big name games are only in the US version of the HP App Catalog, but no information to why? EA Need for Speed is apparently out in the US, but is nowhere to be seen on our version of the HP App Catalog?
This does not even take into account some of the comments that HP staff have been making, like “better than number 1” and “we will not release a device that is not perfect”.
Just to be fair when the iPad launched it was not perfect and several items the Touchpad had at launch were not available for the Touchpad for several months. Even things like the iPad iBook application had be downloaded and was unavailable in the UK for a very short period. However, editing work documents was available right out of the box.
We all know that most of these issues will be resolved over time, and maybe in a years time we will have forgotten these issues. However, I think it will be remember that rather than exploding onto the Tablet market, the lack of managing expectations made it look like more of a stumble.