By the end of this month or shortly thereafter, the $99 HP TouchPad may become available by means of a new production run, according to The Next Bench, a Hewlett-Packard Co. blog.

A limited supply is coming and it will be a few weeks before they are available. As we know more about how, when, and where TouchPads will be available, we will communicate that here and through email to those who requested notification, says the blog.

HP will be manufacturing a limited quantity of TouchPads with webOS during our fourth fiscal quarter 2011, which ends October 31, adds the blog.

Some expect as many as 200,000 TouchPad units will become available in coming days.

The previous TouchPad sale took place in late August. As a result of heavily discounted prices, the tablets sold out everywhere that was offering the tablets at the sharply reduced prices. In that sale, the prices were $99 for the 16GB device and $149 for the 32GB device.

As soon as HP discounted the slow-selling TouchPad to $99 just seven weeks after launching the product, consumers jumped on it. We have received unprecedented orders as a result of the tremendous discount offered, the company wrote on its blog.

HP had come under severe criticism for quickly walking away from the TouchPad, run on the webOS system. The product was launched amid high hopes that it could compete against Apple Inc.'s iPad. However, factors such as pricing and a limited number of applications available in comparison to those associated with the iPad resulted in extremely poor sales.

HP's attempt to cut the product's price by $100 didn't spur sales, and the company later announced that it would no longer support the TouchPad as it decided to discontinue the product while looking at options for its webOS system. HP bought Palm Inc. and its webOS for about $1.2 billion last year.