HP TouchPad will be the first real competitor for the iPad

Following all the live blogs coming out of HP’s webOS event one thing seems clear: the Apple integrated software+hardware model crushes the Google/Microsoft generic OS model.  HP’s tablet shows unique features such as integration with webOS phones by proximity which will set it apart from all the iPad-wannabes running Android.

HP clearly did the right thing in deciding to acquire Palm to take the same approach to tablets that Apple takes with all its products.  In the TouchPad and Pre 3 devices shown today HP scored points for its platform and helped Apple drive another nail in the coffin of the companies that pursue the generic OS approach to mobile devices: Google and Microsoft on the software side of things and all the phone manufacturers that are betting on them.

While some information such as pricing and and battery life will be very important in determining the viability of HP’s products in the market, the design and functionality seem to be headed in the right direction.  The projected availability for the TouchPad is vague, being mentioned as in the Summer.  This will give Apple a lot of time to get the iPad 2 widely distributed and talked about before any HP hardware can get into the hands of customers.  It’s also interesting to note that while HP’s products seem to show a level of attention to detail and hardware/software integration which will probably set it apart and above the Android mob, HP hasn’t really shown any major features or capabilities which would definitely position the TouchPad ahead of what is expected for the iPad 2.

Perhaps HP will still talk about pricing and battery as the event is not over yet. So far, these are the big question marks…

UPDATE: The event is over.  The big news at the end was the announcement that HP will be introducing desktop and notebooks PCs powered by webOS.

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