It’s no secret that the HP TouchPad, which launched only a few months ago, has had lousy sales, before being discontinued altogether earlier this week, as part of a larger shift within HP (likely caused by the device’s weak performance in the first place). HP, which is probably sitting on quite a lot of stock, is attempting to get rid of it quickly by radically dropping the TouchPad’s starting price to as little as $99, starting today.
Back when the TouchPad launched last month, it came in both 16 GB and 32 GB models, available for $499.99 and $599.99 respectively, similar to other players in the field. In its first month, sales numbers were dismal, with just a few tens of thousands being sold in July, followed by even slower sales in August as consumer interest waned. No surprise there, since the TouchPad was significantly slower than its competitors and the proprietary operating system it runs, webOS, was never that well accepted by developers.
Just days after HP’s announcement that it was canning all of its webOS hardware, retailers were instructed to get rid of all of its stock as quickly as possible, according to a memo sent to all of HP’s partners:
HP will be lowering the price of the TouchPad beginning Saturday 8/20/11. This is the lowest price ever for the TouchPad so please post it as soon as it goes live.
Indeed, the 16 GB TouchPad is now available for as little as $99 and the 32GB model is selling for as little as $149. This is, dare I say, a much fairer price for a device that lacks many of the advantages of its competitors, yet, if you’re planning on getting one, keep in mind that HP is phasing the webOS line out completely, meaning that your system likely won’t remain supported for too long. Yet, if you have $99 lying around, why not add this to your gadget collection?
In the US, you can grab one of the TouchPads for $99 over at Best Buy, and for the same in Canada as well, whereas Future Shop in Canada also have them in stock, but are in very limited quantity. Although, the chances are high that you won’t be able to grab one of these at all!
Earlier this week, HP announced the most sweeping changes to its organizational structure in a decade, radically changing its focus. As part of this shift, the company is looking into spinning off its computer division completely and ending its webOS product line, comprised of smartphones such as the Pre and the TouchPad tablet. webOS will allegedly be licensed to other hardware makers, although there’s doubt whether it will be able to gain enough appeal to find its way into an actual product.
Update: It appears, that Best Buy is not selling the HP TouchPad at a discount in the US, but we have sources who are saying that the sale is still on in Canada, but the units are in extremely limited quantity. Instead, Best Buy in the US is offering the TouchPad with an increased return/exchange policy of up to 60 days, which isn’t a bad deal, you can read about it here.