On Thursday, HP announced that its HP TouchPad tablet will become available on July 1st. The TouchPad, which was first unveiled at a media event in February
, is the first webOS-powered tablet offering from HP.
HP TouchPad will be available from US retailers, commercial resellers, and direct from HP for $499.99 (16GB) or $599.99 (32GB). If you just can't wait for July, preorders in North America and Europe will begin June 19. "We will not release a product that isn't perfect."
That is what HP CEO Léo Apotheker said at All Things D9
earlier this month when asked why the company's TouchPad tablet will be different from RIM's PlayBook.HP promises seamless interoperability with other devices from its portfolio
The Wi-Fi version of HP's first webOS tablet will be available in the US on July 1, followed by the UK, Ireland, France, and Germany a few days later. Canada gets theirs in mid-July. HP's phased rollout will continue in farther-away places later this year. On the schedule are Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, and Spain.
Where can you get the HP TouchPad? Not unexpectedly, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, OfficeMax, Amazon.com, Fry's, Microcenter and HP's online stores. Specific pricing outside the US is as yet unrevealed. Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom will learn individually what they have to shell out for the new HP TouchPad. Pricing details for Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, and Spain will also be announced at a later date.
Interestingly, AT&T will be HP's wireless partner on the tablet, though the company did not reveal how much the AT&T version will cost or when it will be released. As usual, details won't be forthcoming until they are ready to launch. When AT&T launched the HP Veer, the company's pint-sized smartphone with a 2.6-inch screen, on May 15, it was priced at $99.99 with a two-year contract.
The TouchPad is powered by Hewlett-Packard's webOS 3.0 operating system. HP continues to tout webOS' multitasking abilities, as well as its Synergy and Stacks features which group related open apps into card stacks. The device also has the ability to share content with other webOS devices. For example, webOS smartphone users can transfer a webpage to the TouchPad simply by touching the two devices together. HP TouchPad Specifications
HP's promises for the TouchPad will be tested during this summer right along with the Google Android tablets and Apple's iPad. Scott Forstall, Apple's head of iPhone software, said earlier this week that Apple has sold 25m iPads. This implies that it has sold around 5.5m in the first two months of this quarter. That would put this on track to be its best-selling quarter so far, ahead even of the Christmas quarter. It remains to be seen how the HP Touchpad will fare alongside the competition.
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