Global technology giant HP has given a strong indication that it will shortly launch its flagship TouchPad tablet in Australia, inviting local media to a briefing next week regarding the device.
The TouchPad line of tablets are based on technology acquired with the company’s buyout of handset specialist Palm last year, and represent HP’s attempt to take on Apple’s iPad, utilising Palm’s rival webOS operating system. When HP unveiled the devices, it also launched several new phones in the Pre range — the Pre 3 and the Veer, neither of which are available in Australia.
Palm never launched the Pre in Australia, preferring instead to focus throughout 2009 on countries in the Americas and Europe, such as the US, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Canada and Mexico. Despite this, some users in Australia had imported the handset due to what was seen as its innovative and open operating system.
Previously, HP has only said that Australia would get the TouchPad later this year. The Wi-Fi version of the tablet launched in the US earlier this month.
“What works like nothing else? What rocks like nothing else? What plays like nothing else? What thinks like nothing else? Come experience the HP TouchPad,” the company’s invitation sent to journalists late yesterday states. The briefing will be hosted in Sydney by HP’s vice president of its webOS platform for the Asia-Pacific and Japan region, Anthony McMahon.
The timing will make HP one of the last major manufacturers to launch a tablet in Australia, with Apple’s iPad having dominated the local market since launch in mid-2010, and rivals such as Motorola, Samsung, Acer and others having launched primarily Android-based devices locally. In addition, Research in Motion has already launched its BlackBerry PlayBook device in Australia over the past month.
In the US, HP sells the TouchPad directly, as well as through retailers and resellers, in two models featuring 16GB or 32GB of internal storage for US$499.99 and US$599.99 respectively. No Australian pricing or availability details have yet been announced.
Image credit: HP