Hewlett-Packard is bringing the canceled Touchpad back for one last time and another round of its fire sale.
Strong demand for the discounted TouchPad, which runs on HP's webOS operating system, has made the company produce additional devices.
HP's initial fire sale on the TouchPad exhausted inventories in Canada, while the U.S. is still waiting for new stock.
HP is breathing new life into a device it had pronounced dead only six weeks after its release.
HP said limited supplies of TouchPads are coming and it would be a few weeks before they are available. HP, based in California, will be producing a limited quantity of TouchPads during its fourth fiscal quarter 2011, which ends Oct. 31.
Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand. 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. We do know that it will be at least a few weeks before you can purchase, Mark Budgell, public relations manager at HP, wrote in a blog post.
TouchPads would be available for the same discounted price of $99 for 16GB model and $149 for 32GB model.
When HP launched its TouchPad tablet six weeks back there were no takers for the device, which came at a price of $500 for 16GB version and $600 for 32GB version. The tablet is also initially viewed as HP's answer to Apple's iPad, which dominates the tablet market.
But the tablet suffered from tepid reviews and the lack of a software ecosystem as sticky as Apple. HP slashed the price by $100, unable to compete with iPad 2 and other Android rivals. Still, there were no buyers and retailers like Best Buy had more than 200,000 units left unsold.
Then HP said it would discontinue webOS devices and offered TouchPads for as low as $99 to clear the inventories. The moment the news spread, the devices suddenly became hot favorites and inventories were eventually sold out.
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, Budgell said.
It is unclear that how many more tablets HP will produce. A Digitimes report said that the inventory level is capable of producing about 100,000 7-inch TouchPads.
Following are the specifications of HP TouchPad:
9.7-inch XGA capacitive, multitouch screen, 1024x768 resolution
Width: 7.48 inches
Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-CPU APQ8060 1.2GHz
Front-facing 1.3-megapixel webcam for video calling
Light sensor, accelerometer, compass (magnetometer), and gyroscope
Audio formats: DRM-free MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, WAV
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n with WPA, WPA2, WEP, 802.1X authentication;
16GB or 32GB
Rechargeable 6300 mAh (typical battery)
Connector Charger/microUSB connector with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed;