Following last week's dismal earnings result, HP said that it was going to shed its PC and tablet computer division, among other things, and surprise consumers the world over with a fire sale this weekend.
HP sent out a memo to retailers to begin the TouchPad sale at the lowest price ever at $99 for 16GB and $149 for 32GB this Saturday.
Major electronics retailer Best Buy, which almost instantly sold out of the TouchPads, said on its Web site that the retailer will no longer sell the discounted TouchPads as they have sent the rest of the inventory back to HP.
But while the company has stopped manufacturing the device, it still has inventory in warehouses that it plans to put onto the market very shortly.
HP getting more stock of TouchPad early in the week, Bryna Corcoran tweeted on Monday.
The company will take a $1 billion charge to write-off the hardware business of WebOS, and move towards higher value, higher margin growth categories, focus its strategic priorities on 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.
The operating system, dubbed webOS, was picked up from a Palm acquisition last July for $1.8 billion. It was hailed as a viable contender to Apple's own iOS and Google's Android.
While the tablet itself will no longer be made, the future of the operating system still remains a question, 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 to $99 in a firesale across the country.
Without further development, it would have meant consumers would be stuck with only the apps that currently exist, 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.