More $99 HP TouchPads for sale; bloggers review

By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - August 31, 2011.

[Updated: now with more comment and analysis]

HP TouchPad
Wow! HP (NYSE:HPQ) is building more TouchPad webOS tablet units. The company has shocked the tech world with this volte face, which seems to be bowing to the huge demand for the $99 bargains. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers review the situation.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Literal warning signs R us...

    Nancy Gohring reports:

The...tablets will go on sale in a few weeks. [HP] said a "limited" number would be made but [not] exactly how many. ... [HP] will produce the tablets during its fourth fiscal quarter, which ends Oct. 31.

...

[HP] did not say if the tablets would continue to be sold at a drastically reduced price. ... While webOS...has been praised, some buyers might worry that HP might stop supporting it. But porting Android...makes it one of the best tablet deals around.   
M0RE

   Chris Richardson monitors the news, scientifically:

Looking for a great Christmas present that won't cost as much as an iPad?

...

Since the frenzy 10 days ago, retailers have sold out. ... Amazon now lists [it] for $230 and eBay bidders are bidding the same. ... But with the estimated cost per unit of $300...it seemed unlikely that HP would [make] more...or continue to sell them for $100. But that's exactly what they will be doing.

...

HP stressed the limited supply of this final run, and estimated that they would be available by the end of October for the...[$99 and $149] price points previously offered.

...

An offer like this only comes... twice in a lifetime.   
M0RE

HP's Mark Budgell is the bringer of glad tidings:

[T]hank you for your enthusiasm. ... Since we announced the price drop...the speed at which it disappeared from inventory has been stunning. ...[S]afe to say we were pleasantly surprised.

...

[We] have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand. We...can’t promise we’ll have enough for everyone. ... We also know that we’re sparse on information about availability outside the US.   
M0RE

But Jonny Evans has bad news for Android tablet vendors:

[A]ll HP is doing is cutting its losses -- while starving everyone else in the anti-iPad market of what little oxygen remains. ... There must be hundreds of thousands of unwanted tablets...filling up the distribution chain: making a Holiday season price war inevitable.

...

These firms must be addicted to losing money in their battle with Apple. ... The problem grows worse when Amazon will steam in...at a price lower than that of Apple's iPad. ... If pressed, Apple has the nuclear option of dropping iPad prices.   
M0RE

 Meanwhile, Jon Collins is heartily fed up of 20/20 hindsight:

Anyone who says they expected the fire sale...to turn into a global gadget grab is a liar.

...

[But] the overall effect was pretty profound. ... In theory, buying an HP Touchpad was...a huge risk. But surely people aren’t so dumb as to buy a device when they don’t know what the future holds? ...[P]erhaps the strategists and pundits got it wrong.

...

Apple may have been first to market with a workable design...but it remains a premium product...get the pricing right and customers will follow. ... [Stop] making assumptions...based on media hype or hearsay.   
M0RE

  And Dwight Silverman speaks of "strategic whiplash":

Todd Bradley, who heads up HP’s Personal Systems Group [said] that if HP does indeed spin off its PC business...[the new] company...might decide to resurrect the TouchPad.

...

Bradley’s statement comes in the wake of a veritable stampede by gadget lovers to snatch up TouchPads...being liquidated. ... At those prices...the device that no one wanted became one of the hottest products on the market. ... [T]here’s no way to look at the reaction...as anything but an anomaly. ... [T]he people who grabbed it are techies and gadget aficionados.

...

Bradley’s statements are also illustrative of what’s going on at HP. CEO Leo Apotheker...clearly wants nothing to do with the consumer business.   
M0RE

              And Finally...
Literal warning signs R us
  
 
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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