HP Touchpad: Back From the Grave

August 31, 2011

10:27 pm

A few weeks ago, HP decided to discontinue the HP TouchPad tablet that runs WebOS. The move surprised the tech community, but after just a few months, early sales of the device had not met company expectations. Following the announcement of the discontinued tablet, the HP TouchPad was priced in some stores as low as $99, which caused a frenzy and led many to believe that the device was overpriced in the marketplace to begin with.

Interestingly, despite the fact that the device was discontinued, HP released a new software update this past week to anyone who might have purchased a fire-sale TouchPad. And yesterday, HP announced on their blog they will produce a limited supply of additional tablets to meet the demands of the public. Here’s what HP posted on their blog:

…let me first say thank you for enthusiasm for this product. 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. …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.

Other reports suggest that HP could be aligning the hardware division to be spun out as its own company.  HP Personal Systems Group leader Todd Bradley told Reuters that “he intends to lead any standalone company created and expects it to be a full-fledged computer maker spanning tablets, ultra-thin and all-in-one PCs.”  In that case, the TouchPad could be re-launched.

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups.

Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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