Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad will start at $499 — the same price as Apple’s iPad 2 — according to a leaked document from a “major retailer” posted by PreCentral.That’s a smart move: Motorola’s Android-based Xoom was dinged by influential reviewers for its high entry price of $600 with a Verizon contract, or $800 without.
Matching Apple’s price is a good first step, but HP will also have to get developers to build apps to match Apple’s huge library. HP has promised to ship WebOS on every PC it sells in 2012, which could spur developer interest in the platform.
The tablet will be available in June, CEO Leo Apotheker said yesterday. That date is confirmed on the document. Apotheker also said that HP didn’t intend to play in the “junior league” when it comes to tablets.
The document also mentions a 7-inch HP Tablet slated to launch in September. Previous reports say this tablet is code-named Opal.