From the “You Get What You Pay For” department, C-Net is reporting that Wal-Mart may be selling HP Pavillion ze2308wm laptops this Christmas season for the low-low price of $398. Wal-mart pulled a similar stunt last year, but since then I haven’t heard any rave reviews about the quality of the hardware.
Given the fact that HP is selling other ze2000 series laptops for closer to $700 you’ve gotta believe they’re losing on every sale. How can this be good for HP or Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart can at least hope that customers will stick a jar of pickles in the cart alongside the new laptop, but where is the benefit for HP?
I like finding a good deal as much as the next guy (I’m cheap) but this sort of thing really messes with economic reality. Granted, computers have steadily become faster & cheaper — and will continue getting faster & cheaper — but dumping cut-rate hardware at prices below the breakeven point only serves to eliminate profits for everyone in the supply chain, not to mention adding to the already growing problem of what to do with all the obsolete computers.
My vote is for letting Moore’s Law and the laws of supply & demand do the work.