Rumours and Lies

Although this article speaks specifically to a recent flurry of bandwidth about the rumoured demise of the HP TC1100 and Toshiba M200, I’m really expressing views about rumours in general.

I’m almost certain that anyone who actually knows if either of these fine machines is slated to be discontinued is under a Non-Disclosure Agreement. That is… until HP or Toshiba actually says something, it’s all idle speculation.

You can try to interprete the intent of a golem by studying its actions, but you cannot know its mind. I think it can also be especially misleading to observe the parties once-removed (the distribution chain).

If a big retailer (web or bricks-and-mortar based) decides to “discontinue” the M200/205 or the TC1100, it could mean that the manufacturer has indicated that the product will be discontinued. BUT it could also mean that the retailer is looking at the R10/15 or TC4200 as being an easier “sell”.

That is, because these are more modestly priced, more recently announced, convertibles that might appeal to a broader market, these might sell through faster. The introduction of models that address a different market segment does not necessarily portend the demise of the current models.

I am not suggesting that the current models will not be discontinued or replaced. Of course they will, someday. I am suggesting that until these changes are announced by the manufacturers, that pronouncements and speculation*** is at the very least, groundless, to some extent counterproductive self-aggrandizement, and may even be malicious.

Sadly, anyone making dire predictions will be vindicated when their predictions eventually, inevitably come true.

My personal issue with all the speculation is that it:

  • detracts from the intrinsic value that the TC1100 and M200 offer

  • causes confusion and uncertainty in the marketplace leading to

  • clogged distribution channels

  • harming the same vendors that we implore to support the platform by having units on hand for demonstrations.
I have both the TC1100 and M200, (and recently bought another M200!). These are great machines.

I applaud Toshiba and HP for coming to market with more accessible machines, and if it means that amidst the confusion, there are some great deals to be had on the TC1100 or M200. Everybody benefits.

*** I don’t really want to include these links but here you go:
Speculation in the discussion forums at Tablet PC Buzz

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