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
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.