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HP promises more TouchPads

Blown away by the insatiable consumer demand for its $98 TouchPad, HP has promised to manufacture one more batch of the webOS-powered tablet to meet skyrocketing demand.

Blown away by the insatiable consumer demand for its $98 TouchPad, HP has promised to manufacture one more batch of the webOS-powered tablet to meet skyrocketing demand.

HP TouchPad

One last run for the HP TouchPad, but will Aussies see any?
(Credit: HP)

In a blog post overnight, HP PR strategist Mark Budgell announced that consumers who missed out on the TouchPads during the recent fire sale may yet have a chance of getting one.

"Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand," he said. However, he added that while there is no official release timeline for the new run of TouchPads, "it will be at least a few weeks before you can purchase".

In the blog's frequently asked questions section, Budgell revealed that the final run of TouchPads would be completed before the end of the company's fourth quarter on 31 October.

Budgell said HP had been pleasantly surprised by the demand for the TouchPad considering HP had made the decision to kill off the tablet and halt development of webOS-powered devices.

"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," Budgell wrote.

The announcement may come as cold comfort to Australians pining for a TouchPad, though, as exclusive device retailer Harvey Norman said at the initial launch of the TouchPad it would only take the first shipment of the device.

Harvey Norman took delivery of roughly 6000 TouchPad tablets, selling around 1200 in the first four days of launch. The device was halted from sale for a weekend while the company considered the position in which the international kill order had placed it in, but come Monday the devices were liquidated in Harvey Norman stores around the country, selling out in under an hour.

Ben McIntosh, Harvey Norman's general manager of Computers, told ZDNet Australia this morning that the retailer would be making a play for the latest shipment of HP TouchPads.

ZDNet Australia revealed last week that by liquidating the TouchPad from $98 in its stores, Harvey Norman was slugged with a cost of over $300 per tablet sold. McIntosh told ZDNet Australia, however, that HP Australia would likely pick up the bill.