The HP Touchpad – Yes we’re still waiting…

For those of you who keep asking, there isn’t much in the way of information on the fate of this new tablet.  Just a few short weeks after its release, HP announced it was going to cancel the hardware portion of the device…but keep working with the WebOS software.  (you can read the actual press release here on Engadget)Then, in order to get rid of their stock, they did a massive fire sale, dropping the price of the tablet to $99, from it’s original price point of $399 for the 16GB units.

This sale dumped a good chunk of product into the population…but unfortunately left HP’s distributors with a ton of product that is used specifically for building those units.  So current rumor up the line that I hear, and has been reiterated elsewhere, HP will likely be releasing quite a few of the Touchpads in a late September/early October feeding frenzy, once all their components are used up.  Likely they would rather not peeve those who made their components, and take the loss that they were in putting the Touchpad out to market.  (I’ve seen teardowns that show the price point HP paid to build them at around $300…but I’ve also seen estimates as low as $180.)

Either way, HP wins.  Those who now have the Touchpads are using their App store and buying apps, and with the average amount of money spent on Apps for a mobile device being $200-300 per year per user, they’re set to recoup their losses on their “fire sales” rather quickly.  Now they’re going to sell more of them?  The conspiracy theorist in me wants to say this was a devious plan, but I’ve worked with manufacturers long enough to know that it’s not.

The Touchpad is still a wonderful little tablet…I love and use mine all the time…so when they’re available, snap one up!  If we get more at PC Mall, you’ll find out here!

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3 thoughts on “The HP Touchpad – Yes we’re still waiting…

  1. Grrrrrrrrrr …

    While I’m still avid for one of these – as you _too_ well know – it does not leave me with anything in the way of warm fuzzies for HP. “Firesale” notwithstanding, this is all still PR FAIL for them, and rightly so.

    I wonder how HP’s stock is doing, after the very quick “firesale” on _that_ (20-25% loss in value) immediately following their first announcement of all this hardware foolishness? Perhaps their relatively new CEO shouldn’t be getting too comfy in his office…

  2. Oh i hear you. You can see the drop in HP’s stock when the original announcement was made here. Granted that’s just consumer nonsense panic at the thought of HP spinning off their 45billion dollar PSG (desktop/laptop) division…something I doubt they’ll do.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do not feel that HP’s actions here were very smart or well timed…and from what I’ve gauged from people I know at HP, they feel the same way.

  3. Well, and I wouldn’t contend that it (the loss of value) was just about the Thinkpad … logic says not, and very much for the reason you stated (desk/laptop spinoff notice). Nevertheless, the Thinkpad debacle _is_ part of the HP PR fiasco as a whole, and not necessarily too small a part, either, because of the outside vendor ramifications.

    I can state from my own experience that decisions of this sort – even if they seem small to a muddleheaded corporate giant – can have HUGE ramifications downstream. People go out of business because of this stuff; and you better believe it affects outside perception and trust of the entity that makes the decisions that cause this sort of upheaval. It’s not fun – and I would even say it’s dangerous – trying to be an HP supplier, knowing they can pull a stunt like this out of the clear blue. Might there be a chilling effect amongst such entities following this? Oh, someone would probably step up – when they wave the possibility of hundreds of millions in biz under your nose, it’s hard to say “No!” – but certainty isn’t necessarily a part of the equation anymore. Something to think about, anyway …

    One can only hope they learn from the mistakes, although the corporate mindset can be very … bullheaded (I’ll be kind).

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