I previously wrote about BestBuy.com selling the HP TouchPad for $100. At the time I managed to get one on order, and it showed up a couple of days ago. I'll be writing up my impressions in the next day or so, since I definitely have enjoyed my experience with it.
"A limited supply are 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. We can tell you that HP’s Small and Medium Business team has sold out of HP TouchPads and will not have more inventory."
So, why is HP planning to offer the TouchPad again? As my colleague, Adrian points out, HP is doing this one last run of TouchPads because there are tons of HP TouchPad components still in the supply chain. I think that's a solid enough reason, but I think there's another reason, too. Right now HP looks like it doesn't know what it's doing. If consumers feel that way about HP, HP will no longer be able to sell its products. So, HP needs to turn the negatives around, and it's trying to do that by offering a one-time 25 percent off, to anyone who had signed up to receive information about the HP TouchPad. If that's not enough, the company is rumored to be courting some offers for the sale of its WebOS business. If there's too much negative press, the value of the business goes down.
In the end, this could be viewed as the best marketing move ever. Create demand for a product that's being end-of-lifed, and then give it one last run. Then sell off the whole software business. Nice move. I doubt it was orchestrated to work this way, but it's still going to be an amazing success story, if someone picks up WebOS for a nice multiple.