Don’t be down that you missed the HP TouchPad sell out, where the webOS tablet was discounted to a below-cost $99. Since the 6,000 Australian units sold out within hours, HP has announced in a blog post that the TouchPad will be back with one final production run.
|Resurrected: HP’s TouchPad|
The company’s PR strategist Mark Budgell addressed prospective webOS customers through HP’s community blog, thanking them for their enthusiasm and support.
“Before I share, let me first say thank you for enthusiasm for this product,” Budgell blogged. His gratitude was followed with news that would relieve customers interested in the HP tablet.
“Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand.”
Budgell didn’t provide an exact date for the tablet’s availability, but he did claim “it will be at least a few weeks before you can purchase [it].”
His blog post also addressed the discontinuation of TouchPad production, which will be the 31st of October; during the company’s fourth fiscal quarter.
Prospective customers who were intrigued by the TouchPad’s $99 price tag will have to check with retailers (Harvey Norman in Australia’s case) regarding the final batch’s pricing.
“Each retailer will manage their own policy and process regarding pricing and price matching,” wrote Budgell.
HP’s TouchPad was the company’s entrant into an iPad dominated tablet market. Running the webOS platform, the tablet struggled to sell in the US, with BestBuys wanting HP to take some of its 220,000 stock back.
In Australia, retailer Harvey Norman had exclusive rights to the first batch with an order of 6,000 tablets. Harvey Norman’s General Manager of Computers, Ben McIntosh, claimed within four days only 1,100 tablets had been sold.
With retailers struggling to move the product, HP made a radical decision to discount the product below its cost to $99. Within hours, Harvey Norman’s remaining stock was sold, and BestBuys stock soon followed. HP was shocked by the rapid sale pace, with Budgell addressing the successful clearance in his blog:
“Since we announced the price drop, the number of inquiries about the product and the speed at which it disappeared from inventory has been stunning. I think it’s safe to say we were pleasantly surprised by the response.”
Although the Touchpad was a financial dud, its reduced price and rapid sales has helped its webOS operating system penetrate a market grossly dominated by Apple’s iPad.
If HP is basing its decision on manufacturing more TouchPads hoping the webOS platform could become one of the few mainstream OS’, they might be disappointed since many TouchPad owners are loading their tablets with a home-brewed version of Google’s Android.
Read: Android Breathes Life Into Dead HP TouchPad
Currently the HP TouchPad is now the second most popular tablet after the iPad, and despite the eventual discontinuation of its hardware, its WebOS software will continue to benefit from updates.