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Bye Bye TouchPads

Bye Bye TouchPads

Well, if you are bashing yourself on the head for not taking advantage of HP’s fire sale of webOS Touchpads and was waiting for a second one, you’re maybe out of luck. According to a tip that we got from XDA member joshman99, the tablet from HP is no longer in production. In fact, HP sent out an e-mail to customers and retailers where it claims that it no longer has stock of this device and that whatever is left in the stores will be the last ones to be sold. Now, there are really no implications for HP on this as they were trying to penetrate the market with a tab carrying an OS, which ranks anywhere between fourth and fifth in terms of overall usage by the consumer base. This actually has got me thinking a bit as for the real reason behind stopping production and other underlying issues behind the Touchpad.

The first thing that came to mind when I read this was that HP was just trying to recover their loses on a product that was badly overpriced from the start. After the success of the “fire sale,” as it was deemed by blogs across the web, it was rumored that HP would launch a second fire sale, which they did but is exclusive to Best Buy in the US and has the limitation that a computer must be purchased as well to get the special discount on the pad. So, based on this move it was definitely not their original intent.

After giving it some thought, I remembered that about a month ago, we found out that HP was breaking GPL by distributing some of these tabs loaded with Android and not sharing the kernel. It was later found out that the pads are tested with Android and apparently, webOS was not installed by QC pre-shipment. It is possible that the pad got into a bad reputation trend and possible legal trouble because of this, and as such, HP decided to pull the plug on this idea altogether.

My final idea (and the one to be most likely, at least in my mind) is that HP analyzed the response on the fire sale and the underlying reasons for the success of the event. While the “oomph for the buck” factor was definitely a major push ($99 for a 16GB tab and $149 for a 32 GB one), I do believe that they had to realize that the bulk of their sales spiked when the possibility of Android running on this became public knowledge. So, thinking back on the project, they had to realize that including Android on the tab would make much more sense (commercially) than shipping with something that most people don’t use/will replace the moment they get it. You also have to remember that, due to flashing, the possibility of warranty exchanges was going to be high and that would definitely eat into the margins after short. Long story short, it is my own opinion that an Android version of this tab will hit the market soon and that is why they are retiring the webOS one.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think that the HP Tab is completely dead or that it will rise from its ashes in the form of an Android enabled device? Please share your thoughts.

Dear Valued Customer,

Making sure customers have a positive experience when they purchase our products is a priority for us. In some cases, limited inventory makes it challenging to fulfill all customer orders. As you signed up for updates on the HP TouchPad, we wanted you to know that we are officially out of stock. Some retailers will have some stock available, but our online inventory is depleted.

Thank you for your interest in this product and the feedback you provided. Your input plays a critical role in defining our product roadmap and will help us continue to bring innovative products to market.

Sincerely,
HP

You can find more information in the original article.

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Thanks  joshman99 for the tip!

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