HP's long-awaited webOS-based TouchPad tablet could ship in late March, according to a DigiTimes report.
The report said that the TouchPad will be on sale by April, citing sources from HP's "upstream component partners", and that HP is looking to ship 45 to 48 million notebooks and tablet PCs, which would mean around four to five million tablets.
The Apple iPad sold three million units in less than three months, but HP's target seems rather optimistic given the number of Android-based devices already on the market and the tablet-optimised Android 3.0-based devices set to launch this year, as well as the iPad 2.
However, the TouchPad garnered positive reviews at Mobile World Congress, and V3.co.uk found in a demonstration that it contains some interesting features which could attract users who have yet to commit to the Apple or Android platforms.
The native email application is really well designed, making full use of the 9.7in screen, while the tablet itself integrates well with other HP portable devices such as the forthcoming Pre3 smartphone.
This means that users will be able to receive instant messages, texts and even take phone calls on the tablet using the loudspeaker if they wish.
However, a whopping 40 per cent of respondents to V3.co.uk's HP TouchPad poll said that the device does not offer anything more than the tablets already on the market, such as the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, both of which have proved very popular since launch.
HP said of the DigiTimes report that it does not comment on rumour or speculation.
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