Hewlett-Packard has officially announced a second round of sales for its TouchPad tablet at the popular $99 price.
Nearly two weeks ago, in a remarkably short period, HP sold out of TouchPads after slashing the price to $99. The price cut came after HP announced it was ceasing manufacturing operations on all web OS devices and reconfiguring the focus of its company from consumer devices to enterprise.
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. I think it's safe to say we were pleasantly surprised by the response, Mark Budgell, HP's spokesperson, said in a blog post.
The remarkable turnaround of the TouchPad has caused HP to give the device one last run. HP says it has begun manufacturing another batch of TouchPads, which will be released at the same $99 price point.
The company said it didn't know exactly when the new TouchPads would be available or how many it will get. The company did give out some information on the new TouchPads. Here are five things to know.
- This Quarter: The last likely batch of HP TouchPads will ship out by the end of this fiscal quarter. The quarter ends on Oct. 31, so do the math. The new batch will likely ship out within the next few weeks. HP is stressing this is a limited supply.
- Not For Everyone: Because it is a limited supply, HP said not everyone will get one. Those who requested notification will be told immediately when they can order the device. The device is limited to only one per person. HP has not given out any information if there is a preorder option available.
- No Control over Retailers: HP has made it clear that it has no control over retailers' price. Some retailers, like Amazon.com, haven't lowered the price to $99. HP can't change that. It can control its online store, where the device will be on sale.
- No Return: HP said if you have bought the TouchPad at the $99 price point, you can't return it. You also can't combine it with any other HP discounts, coupons or offers such as free shipping.
- Small Businesses Out of Luck: Budgell said HP's Small and Medium Business team has sold out HP TouchPads and will not have more inventory. If you placed an order after 4 a.m. CT on Aug. 22, your order was never received and you're out of luck. If you got your order before that, HP said it is working through a large volume of requests
HP originally sold the TouchPad for $499 for a 16 GB device. However, when the device didn't sell well and retailers like Best Buy openly complained about unsold inventory, the company announced an initial price cut of $100. Shortly after that price cut, HP announced even greater changes, saying it was ending manufacturing of all webOS devices including the TouchPad. This is where the $99 price came into play.
There are many theories why a tablet that has no future and limited apps has sold so well. While the price is an obvious answer, there is also a theory that some are buying it to make a profit or for hacking purposes.