With all the discussion swirling around the sell off of the HP Tablet at $99 this week, there is a discussion point that has been overlooked. There is now a brand new business opportunity.
Generally it is very hard to get developers to target devices that don’t have a fairly large install base without serious incentives beyond the token free device to work with.
Developers now have an instant total available market of 500K units. Normally it would take a company like Motorola Mobility 7-12 months to reach that sell through on a single carrier focused smartphone type device.
Since the number of apps to choose from in the Web OS store is currently limited, any releases of software will be REALLY welcome by that new community of buyers. These tablet purchasers were never expecting to see anything new in their app store again.
These tablet owners will not complain if an app developer takes a short-term predatory strategy to go after them. The appetite for new mobile apps by consumers is extremely short term. You go to the top of the sales list quickly and then the audience looks for the next new shiny app in the app store.
According to the Los Angeles Times, more tablets are on the way. (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/08/hp-touchpad-tablets.html ) Even if they decide not to use the parts that were on order to build another large batch, the install base will become that much more attractive with each warehouse shipment during this sale. Developers won’t need to be thinking about what will happen to future landing zones for Web OS products. There are enough Web OS tablet devices in place to make some money right now.