In a bid to spur interest in the fledgling product, Hewlett-Packard has decided to slash the price of its HP TouchPad tablet.
The company announced its 16GB and 32GB TouchPad tablets -- originally priced at $499 and $599 respectively -- are both $100 off for this weekend only. The limited time offer ends on Sunday. In addition, Fatwallet.com has a $100 coupon for both models of the TouchPad at Staples. This should be applicable to the discount that has already been put in place. That would mean a tablet that was originally $500 could be bought for as low as $300.
All of this comes after HP offered a $50 instant rebate on the 10-inch TouchPad last Friday. Another deal comes from a Groupon-like site called Woot, which is offering the tablet for $380.
One analyst, Avi Greengart with Current Analysis, is a fan of HP's move to cut the price.
"Unless the price drop is made permanent, it is unlikely to change HP's relative position, but it's an excellent move," Greengart said in an email." HP launched the TouchPad prematurely -- it was extremely buggy -- and paid dearly for that with terrible reviews.
"The price drop is a smart way to bring attention back to the TouchPad now that HP has fixed many of the problems in a software update."
HP hasn't exactly come out of the tablet gate blazing with the WebOS tablet, TouchPad, being released more than a year after the initial launch of the iPad. While the tablet's operating system comes with next-level multitasking, easier access to the Web and premium audio playback with stereo speakers and Beats Audio technology, the price turned off many reviewers. Also, the initial launch came with numerous bugs, which have now been fixed with a software update.
With these price cuts, many tech insiders have speculated the company hasn't done well with early sales on the device. As many have said, a 20 percent price cut means the margins on the product will be cut into deeply. With the device only coming out a month ago, this move is clearly meant to boost sales. HP hasn't released sales numbers yet but if it has done anything like the other iPad competitors, it's not a good sign.
A recent report from Motorola indicated the company shipped a mere 440,000 Xoom tablets over the past three months. The number of tablets actually sold could be even worse. What makes this whole ordeal bad for HP is the fact that Motorola cut the price of the Xoom too but didn't even wait this late. Samsung refuses to release sales numbers for the Galaxy tab but an executive recently revealed the company shipped out two million.
All of these numbers pale in comparison to the numbers that Apple has done with the iPad, which has ranged well into the millions. In the first quarter, Apple sold more than seven million iPads alone -- triple what the closest competitor has sold in total.
Good luck HP. You might need it.