While HP is primarily tapping Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 for its enterprise tablets, the company is choosing Android for its consumer attempts. This comes just months after HP’s PC chief Todd Bradley said that the company would indeed be entering the consumer segment in 2013.
The new tablet also comes after HP launched its first Chromebook earlier this month, and the Slate 7 shows that HP is getting cozier with other software platform providers like Google in an attempt to hedge its bets should tensions with Microsoft continue to grow as the software giant becomes a competitor with its Surface tablet.
As an entry-level device, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) opted to save on development costs by shipping a primarily stock Android device. By choosing not to add a layer of software modification for the sake of differentiation, the Slate 7 is also destined to be a relatively commoditized device.
At that price point, HP is looking at incredibly thin margins to begin with on this tablet. The company clearly hopes to skim a little bit more if it can gently nudge people to print more, but HP is also trying to sell two-year extended warranties for up to $49 — or nearly 30% of the initial purchase price.
HP’s mobile chief, Alberto Torres, said that the company plans on offering a range of tablet form factors leveraging an “array” of operating systems, so the Slate 7 is likely just a preview of more to come. After the company’s first failed foray into consumer tablet turf, can it find success with a low-end, commoditized offering? Probably not.
The article It’s Official: HP Hooks Up With Android originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Evan Niu, CFA.
Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Apple, and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
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