Harvey Norman, exclusive retailer of HP TouchPad in Australia, has decided to pull the device from shelves, expediting the liquidation of HP's tablet computer from the market barely weeks after its launch.
HP TouchPad had only been launched in Australia four days before HP's surprise decision to subject the device to mercy killing, the Register reported. The decision by Harvey Norman came even as HP's public relations agency was sending review devices to technology writers, the report said.
The HP TouchPad is not listed in the retailer's Web site any longer. The retailer said it will offer full refund to customers who would return the tablet following the decision. Those who decide to keep the device have been warned that post-sales service would not be available. Only about 1000 tablets had been sold before the decision to pull it was announced.
HP made the industry-shocking announcement on Thursday saying it was exiting the personal computer business and killing the Touchpad tablet computer based on Palm's webOS software.
It said its board has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group and plans to close down its webOS device business. The shocker came only days after Google agreed to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.
The decision apparently followed the poor performance of HP TouchPad just weeks into its worldwide launch. The device got only a lukewarm response and was unable to compete with Apple's iPad 2 and other Android tablets in terms of both features as well as ecosystem.
Following negative market feedback, HP slashed the price of Touchpad by $100 to boost its sales, but that did not help. Retailers like Best Buy started complaining of more than 200,000 units lying unsold in its warehouses. HP credited Best Buy and other resellers about $100 million for their unsold inventory.
Following HP’s decision to exit PC business, the TouchPad was immediately on a fire sale, with retailers slashing prices drastically. The price of the 16GB and 32GB devices was reduced considerably to $99 and $149 respectively. 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, an HP memo had said.