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HP Pulls an Apple: Gives TouchPad to Sales Team to Sell More TouchPad

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HP may be taking a page from Apple’s playbook by doling out TouchPads to its sales team for use, which would hopefully showcase webOS’s features to enterprise IT customers who may want to buy those tablets and deploy them in their own organizations. The TouchPad will be used by HP’s own sales team to communicate and connect, and hopefully its sales staff will be able to highlight those features in action during meetings with clients.

The strategy may be akin to what Apple had done with its products. Apple currently uses its iPod Touch with a special credit card reader as a point of sales terminal to accept payment for physical goods. Rather than have customers line up at a cash register, Apple store employees could walk around with their iOS-powered mobile cash register to take payment from customers. This not only creates a more interactive experience–the physical barrier of a desk and bulky cash register machine is now removed–but also it shows the potential and power of the iPod Touch to customers and may incite conversation and discussion about the Apple hardware and underlying mobile software.

In addition to the webOS capabilities on the TouchPad, HP will be equipping the machines that it gives to sales employees with a video chat software. This way, it can connect with customers and experts, and create a better relationship with customers:

“The rollout will include HP-developed video chat software, so that sales team members can connect customers with the most appropriate HP technical expert at a moment’s notice.”

At a basic level, its a positive sign that HP is confident enough in its product to use and deploy it internally. Hopefully, the company can continue to grow the webOS brand and do well in mobile. In the past, HP’s experience in mobile had not been positive. It had killed its own Jornada brand when it was manufacturing Pocket PC PDAs after the Compaq acquisition and was slow to give the iPAQ the features that customers desired and diluted that brand in the Windows Mobile days. Perhaps, third time is a charm.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    05/19/2011 at 5:15 pm

    Smart move.
    Frankly if a sales guy showed up to my door telling me it is a great idea to use product X to run my business but that sales guy’s own company is not using it – then that’s a big flag to me.
    I mean – who goes to a butcher that’s a vegetarian?

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