iPad comments from HP, Dell sound like sour grapes

Apple is destroying both companies in the tablet market, and there's not a whole lot they can say or do about it.

I love a good flame war between rival tech companies, but two recent attacks on Apple's iPad by HP and Dell executives failed to stir my emotions, except one: sympathy.

Reading the remarks of Dell marketing head Andy Lark and HP senior vice president Stephen Dewitt made me feel sorry for both companies. Apple's destroying them in the tablet market, and there's not a whole lot they can say or do about it.

Dell's Delusion

I feel pain for Lark, who for some reason said the following to CIO Australia about the iPad: "An iPad with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you'll be at $1,500 or $1,600; that's double of what you're paying." As PC World readers pointed out, an iPad mouse doesn't exist, and if you add a keyboard and case to the priciest iPad, you still wouldn't crack $1,000.

But that misguided comment isn't my main concern. The bulk of Lark's comments are about how Dell has taken a "considered approach to tablets" because the company does most of its business in the enterprise market. I interpret that to mean Dell wants to create Windows tablets -- the company has been showing off a 10-inch concept device running Windows 7 -- but right now, the software isn't working in Dell's favor. Windows 7 just isn't designed for touchscreens, so Dell will not really be able to embrace tablets until Windows 8 comes around. Being powerless on the software front must be tough, especially while Apple is making its hardware thinner, lighter and faster.

HP's Palaver

DeWitt's iPad bashing is a little more obscure than Lark's comments. Speaking at a conference for HP's channel partners, DeWitt criticized the relationship Apple has with the companies that sell and service its products. "Apple's relationship with partners is transactional, completely. Apple doesn't have an inclusive philosophy of partner capabilities, and that's just absurd," he said.

I can't speak for Apple's channel partners, but it seems obvious to me why Apple might treat them as transactional: it can. The iPad 2 is selling out everywhere, and while DeWitt can talk all he wants about having an "inclusive philosophy," what really matters in the end is whether the product is selling. And the iPad 2 is selling.

Besides, Apple doesn't need channel partners nearly as desperately as they need Apple. Thanks to the Apple Store, the company already has its own point of sales, service and training. When an iPad breaks, Apple doesn't need the Geek Squad. Its Genius Bar does the job. That must be frustrating for a company like HP.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for the competition that the iPad will face this year. Android 3.0 got a rough start in the Motorola Xoom, but it'll eventually come along; Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook deserves a chance, despite a lack of buzz; and HP's TouchPad promises a whole bunch of features that the iPad lacks. But until Dell and HP actually launch products that can go toe-to-toe with the iPad, all they can do is talk. And they're clearly running out of things to say.

Follow Jared on Facebook and Twitter for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags apple ipadhardware systemstabletstablet PCslaptopsHewlett-PackardHPtablet PCAppleDell

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?