Hewlett-Packard will release more of those coveted TouchPads for $99 in the coming weeks, but for a limited time only.
The company wrote on its TheNextBench blog that it will release a limited amount of the tablet computers to meet unfulfilled demand. HP had announced the end of the TouchPad and its webOS operating system two weeks ago, but after an incredible amount of consumer interest in buying the cheap tablet, the company decided to release more TouchPads.
Since we announced the price drop, the number of inquiries about the product and the speed at which it disappeared from inventory has been stunning, Mark Budgell, HP's spokesperson, said in the blog post. I think it's safe to say we were pleasantly surprised by the response.
The product will be sold through HP's Web site at $99, but other retailers will not be forced to sell it at that price. For example, despite the horde of interest in the $99 price, Amazon never lowered its price of the TouchPad to that amount.
Although the demand and buzz for the cheap tablets is still intense, consumers looking to buy a new TouchPad may have to wait a few weeks.
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, HP said in the blog. We do know that it will be at least a few weeks before you can purchase.
This doesn't mean that HP plans on bringing the TouchPad back long-term, though. Instead a new fire sale could help the company sell off TouchPad related goods still in its inventory, like cases, touchscreen displays, and other items.
In addition to releasing another batch of TouchPads, HP also plans on adding functionality to the products. An HP spokesperson told CNET News that an over-the-air update to improve functionality and add applications will be released at some point.
This comes as a relief to some recent TouchPads buyers, as there was concern that once HP's inventory was gone that it would ignore the new owners and the webOS format.
HP is fully committed to the ongoing support and service of customers who purchased webOS devices...We plan to continue to investigate the best ways to leverage WebOS software and grow the applications, the spokesperson told CNET News.