HP to make one more final batch of TouchPad tablets

31 Aug 2011

HP's TouchPad tablet computer

Stunned by demand in the wake of its decision to offload its webOS and PC divisions, computer giant HP is to manufacture a final batch of its webOS-based TouchPad tablet computers.

It must offer the technology manufacturer a tantalising glimpse of what might have been if with a little more finesse and perfection, it could have been on to a huge winner.

Instead, buyers now seem lured by the impending rarity and collectability of the TouchPad tablets.

HP is understood to have decided to produce one last run before ending the line forever.

The move might also be a way of assuaging angry suppliers who it emerged might have been faced with a glut of parts and components.

“Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand,” HP’s Mark Budgell wrote in the HP blog The Next Bench.

“We don’t know exactly when these units will be available or how many we’ll get, and we can’t promise we’ll have enough for everyone. We do know that it will be at least a few weeks before you can purchase.”

He added: “A limited supply are coming and it will be a few weeks before they are available. As we know more about how, when, and where TouchPads will be available, we will communicate that here and through email to those who requested notification. We can tell you that HP’s Small and Medium Business team has sold out of HP TouchPads and will not have more inventory.”

In response to a question over why some retailers won’t match or drop their price to US$99 Budgell said that each retailer will manage their own policy and pricing.

Harvey Norman, PC World and Currys last week dropped the price of the HP Touchpad to €99 and have since sold out.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years