Dude, read back my posts *again.* I'm like the only one in this thread in defense of iPad alternatives and competition in this space. If you want to talk about business, then explain to me how selling an HP Touchpad at such a severe loss (~$200 per device) is beneficial to the company? The Logitec Revue, now selling at a similar $200 loss, was quoted as being a huge financial mistake for the company and has scared them for years to come.
That isn't to say a product can't be a loss leader in order to be successful to the bottom line. Microsoft sells the Xbox at a loss, but they hope to create a halo effect (no pun intended) that will drive people towards Microsoft products and services, like Xbox Live and Windows Phones. They're building Xbox Live integration into Windows 8, and are using the Xbox to help build that end-to-end ecosystem that everyone's talking about. The Xbox has a strategy.
HP's strategy with the Touchpad was to build WebOS across all of their devices, and create that same experience. When HP blew up, that dream was killed, and the Touchpad serves no purpose anymore. No company can operate at a loss that high, which is why the Touchpad went away forever.
I was responding the the troll comment, which I am not . I was merely poking fun at the state of HP (and their CEO scandals). It's the entire irony of the situation that the most successful non-iPad tablet to date is a damaging.
The loss leader is why other manufacturers can't make a sound product. They only one is Google, but I don't see them making their own product anytime soon.
Microsoft is the only company I think that can create an ecosystem that rivals apple. I think (hope) they learned their lesson from Zune. They need to be more Xboxy and less, um, Zuney.
A company could take a loss for making a tablet, but the only one I can think of is Amazon....which they are doing (not a major los though). Being a manufacturer of tablets and pc products, is, uh, more brand awareness than profitablity. I mean, if you get the iPhone, you still go to the iTunes store (like you said). Get an Acer Iconia....they get no profit.