HP's fire sale on its TouchPad tablet computer this week has killed all Canada inventory, and details on U.S. stock remains sketchy, but there is still hope for a bargain.
According to online deals forum, Slickdeals, the only retailers left with anything left in stock are the ones carrying them at full-price. That means this deal is essentially over, and for Canadians this was confirmed.
HP Canada is out. Completely. FOREVA! Don't call them, Hp's Bryna Corcoran Tweeted on Thursday.
The situation in the US is even less clear. HP had made multiple promises to replenish inventories, but thus far the company hasn't given any solid updates through out the whole of last week, after inventories dried up this pas weekend.
I don't have precise ETA on when more are coming in. Just that YES HP Home and Home office store will get some soon. She later followed up with this message on Friday: Confirmed: Breaking news is that we're not getting any news on when - today and through weekend.
While the deal may be over for many, you don't necessarily have to pay full price. It seems scalpers have picked up the discounted TouchPad and they are moving quickly on Ebay. The regularly priced $499 tablet is going for around $255 on the online auction shop.
Granted, this is a far-cry from the give-away price of $99, but below $300 is still less than the $499 iPad, and Android based competitors as well.
Comparatively, the Amazon Kindle is $140, meaning slightly less than $100 more can get you a fully fledged tablet computer, but still save over competing brands.
Following the company's dismal earnings announcement, HP said that, among other things, it would shed its tablet computer division, and subsequently started liquidating all of the TouchPad inventory on Saturday.
The fire sale marked the lowest price ever for the tablet, with 16GB versions dropping to $99 and $149 for 32GB. Major electronics retailers sold out nearly instantly, but HP confirmed it still has more to push down the channel -- except in Canada.
The company will take a $1 billion charge to write-off the hardware business of WebOS, and moves towards higher value, higher margin growth categories, focus its strategic priorities of cloud, solutions, and software, and drive differentiation.
The fire sale marks a bitter end to a much-hyped device that was only able to see 48 days as a potential iPad contender. Its operating system, dubbed webOS, was picked up from a Palm acquisition last July for $1.8 billion. It was hailed as a viable alternative to Apple's own iOS and Google's Android.
Despite multiple price drops and plenty of hype, the tablet suffered from tepid reviews and a lacking software ecosystem.
While the tablet itself will no longer be made, the future of the operating system may find other opportunities in other devices as representatives have hinted on further development, but remained scant on details.
Yesterday we announced that we will focus on the future of webOS as a software platform but we will no longer be producing webOS devices, said HP's global developer relations SVP, Richard Kerris. While this was a difficult decision, it's one that will strengthen our ability to focus on further innovating with webOS as we forge our path forward.
Kerris' statement should come as good news to the consumers who snapped up the TouchPad tablet after it hit shelves July 1. It also should reassure consumers who picked up the tablet this weekend as prices dropped in a fire sales across the country.
Without further development, it would have meant consumers would be stuck with only the apps that currently exists, of which there are not many. It would also mean webOS based smartphones and tablets would never see an upgrade.
We will continue to support, innovate and develop the webOS App Catalog, Kerris said. Our intent is to enhance our merchandising and presentation of your great products and to continue to build our webOS app ecosystem.
While HP still sees a future for the webOS and its associated apps, its unclear what that future will exactly be.
During a conference call with investors, HP chief Leo Apotheker said the company will seek to gain value from WebOS in an as-yet-to-be-determined fashion, adding to the mystery.