Directly following the discontinuation sale, an HP TouchPad was seen running Android OS in a series of videos that went viral from a user who snagged a $99 TouchPad from Best Buy.
Manufactured by HP to run webOS, a TouchPad was seen being sold with a costly price tag on Ebay running Android 2.2.1 Froyo software. Multiple videos posted by the Ebay user show an HP TouchPad running the Android OS, flashing the logo of research and development company Qualcomm Innovation Center (Quic) when loading.
While the origin of the Android TouchPad, which has unofficially been called the TouchDroid, remains unknown, Qualcomm could have accidently let an experimental device part of an initiative to bridge the Android OS to the TouchPad onto the retail market, fall into the hands of a consumer.
The user with the Android TouchPad, jiwanish, said the device he purchased from Best Buy is probably just a test unit from Qualcomm, as the tablet cannot access the Android Market although it runs on the operating system.
Qualcomm has replied no comment on the video to Engadget, It is unclear whether or not Qualcomm has plans or is currently planning to port Android to the TouchPad or if there is a collaboration or partnership between HP and Qualcomm.
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TouchDroid, a team dedicated to bringing Android to the HP TouchPad, released a statement on Wednesday via their Web site declaring it is moving forward as many of their members are still trying to acquire devices.
Seeing the value of porting the successful Android operating system to the discontinued device, the group of developers began brainstorming and discussion, TouchDroid said. The group, led by Thomas Sohmers, has plans to bring the TouchPad to Android's current Honeycomb operating system after Android 2.3, Gingerbread.
Another initiative run by hacking and developmental website, Hack N Mod, has offered a hefty incentive to any developer to port Android OS for the HP TouchPad. As of Thursday, a bounty of $2,100 was extended, sparking a contest amongst developers.
Complete one (or several) of the tasks above and let the world know! Post your source code on GitHub and paste links to your pictures and videos in the comments below (or email us). All work must be documented under an open source license. The first person or group to successfully complete a fully functional task above wins the corresponding prize. The only condition is that your port must have a user-friendly installation process (such that the average user can easily install it), Hack N Mod posted Monday on its Web site.
HP TouchPad Sale
The mad dash to develop Android OS compatible with the TouchPad began after HP TouchPads were being sold heavily discounted at $99 for 16GB and $149 for 32GB, down from $500 and $600 when the models were released in July.
The TouchPad sale commenced as large retailers requested to clear out stockpiled inventory. According to PCWorld, Best Buy sold less than 10 percent of its inventory, sending back nearly 250,000 TouchPads to HP.
The TouchPad sale also comes amidst a change in plans for HP, which said on Thursday that it would discontinue all webOS-powered devices in an effort to optimize the value of webOS software going forward, according to an HP representative.
The HP TouchPad sale was successful, evident in sales across the country, despite the fact its manufacturer could end support on its webOS, which it acquired last July for $1.8 billion.
This possible drop of webOS has sparked the interest in developers looking to cash in on the new HP TouchPad owners by developing a compatible Android OS. Considered to be a dead product, discontinued by its manufacturer, with a dead operating system, a new life could be restored in the TouchPad with Android, as it would be considered the best bargain tablet device under $100.
How to Buy an HP TouchPad
If you missed out on the HP TouchPad sale, a second round is expected to continue this week, according to the company's social media manager.
Bryna Corcoran tweeted that more HP TouchPads should be available this week though HP's Web site, as all large retailers declared to be out of stock.
Home and Home Office Store: Confirmed they are definitely getting more. But not in stock just yet. Any day now. Stay tuned for more info, she tweeted on Monday.
Some people who cannot wait for the second wave of HP TouchPads have took to Ebay, bidding on overpriced TouchPads once being sold for $99. According to IT Pro Portal, on Ebay user sold 70 TouchPads that he purchased at $99, for around $323 each to those lusting after the discontinued tablet.
According to Corcoran, the best way stay updated throughout the HP TouchPad sale is to sign up for an alert to be notified when more are in stock. Consumers will be able to purchase the tablet at a discounted price of $99 for 16GB and $149 for 32GB, along with their free Box lifetime cloud storage account.