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HP crashes the party

September 1, 2011

When I wrote before about changes in the mobile landscape and their effects on once-great Nokia I talked briefly about Google's Android devices, but I didn't mention what is set to become the second best selling mobile device ever; and you've probably not heard of it either.

About a year ago, the PC maker HP bought a UK company made famous by the Palm and Handspring range of hand held computers back in the 90s. At the time HP bought them, Palm was working on a rival for the iPad, running it's own Linux-based operating system called WebOS. Fast forward a year or so after the acquisition, and HP bring out a mobile phone and an iPad-like tablet running Palm's system, and although they looked nice and worked well they didn't really sell.

Then, last week, HP announced a serious change in corporate direction, deciding it didn't want to make things any more. One victim of this was the Touchpad, and HP immediately started a fire sale, selling the £400+ device for less than a hundred notes.

The news of the massive discounting spread quickly over social media, and as people began arriving at work, stock at various web sites began to run out. By mid-morning Touchpad was a top trending topic on Twitter.

Around that time a number of online retailers used Twitter to advertise availability of the discounted stock, and, almost with out fail, their web sites would seize up a few minutes later under the huge surge of traffic generated from their social media marketing - a massive success for marketing, if not for the poor IT guys who suddenly saw their traffic go through the roof.

This illustrates nicely a key factor in running a successful campaign - plan for success and keep the wider company informed. You never know, you might be about to sell the next HP Touchpad.

Still, I've got one now, and it's very good fun :-)

Posted by Tom Chiverton

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