The last couple of weeks have been of sweeping change for HP, especially its webOS division, as the company announced it would kill of every single webOS hardware product until the end of the year. Soon after, HP’s webOS tablet, the TouchPad, began selling for $99, instead of the usual $399, in order to liquidate all remaining stock, yet the response from customers was so overwhelming that HP will actually begin making a last batch of TouchPads.
When the liquidation sale began, many technology enthusiasts rushed to stores to get the discounted device, causing it to sell it in a matter of just a few days. This overwhelming response has led HP to announce on its blog that it will be manufacturing a new batch of TouchPad devices to answer the recent demand:
Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand.
There’s no word on when the last run of TouchPads will arrive in shelves, and HP has made it clear that only a limited supply of tablets will be made, although HP promises that the devices will likely be available “in a few weeks”. In order to give all buyers a fair shot, HP will only allow one TouchPad to be sold per customer.
It’s unclear whether this new batch of TouchPad will still be available for $99, given that each tablet costs $318 to make (according to rather credible estimates), in addition to support and R&D; HP is literally losing money for every TouchPad it sells for $99.
As you’re likely aware, Palm’s recent history has been rather rocky. After years of declining profits, it introduced its new version of the operating system, webOS, which was rewritten from the ground-up to support multitouch and touch-based user input. Yet, Palm’s strategy failed to gain traction and the company was sold to HP last year, where it didn’t do much better, ultimately leading to HP’s decision to discontinue all webOS hardware just 7 weeks after the TouchPad first arrived on shelves.
If you have always wanted a TouchPad, grab your 99 dollars in cash and get one while you can. Yet, we can’t recommend this product to most users, considering the amount of better options that are currently available, such as the iPad and numerous Android devices.
(via HP Blog)