New York - DisplaySearch analysts praised Hewlett-Packard for its retail effort surrounding the release of its TouchPad tablet.
DisplaySearch's Richard Shim said HP's Top Gun program, which places HP employees at special kiosks in 100 Best Buy locations, will help it compete with Apple.
Shim noted that one of Apple's primary advantages over other tablet makers is its stores and their specially trained workers who can properly educate consumers on the iPad. The Top Gun program should be able to do the same for HP, he said.
"We continue to believe Apple has the advantage in the retail environment because of its dedicated sales channel. Apple is able to capture more profit than competitors who have to share margins with retail partners," Shim said. "This makes it tougher for rivals to compete on price. However, efforts such as HP's Top Gun will help to educate consumers and ease the takeoff of this new emerging product category, which has recently been stalling."
DisplaySearch believes other vendors should follow suit in some manner since tablets are a new type of device that are not well understood by consumers. This is primarily because their advantages lie with the apps and software, and these have to be explained in detail to customers.