It appears the best way for HP to sell the TouchPad was to drop the price to $99. The massively discounted price has reportedly prompted it to become the second best selling tablet on the market and now HP is even promising webOS updates to users.
Fast Company published the article about the TouchPad reaching the number 2 sales spot. The problem, however, is that it’s difficult to pinpoint exact sales numbers for the device. Companies have a tendancy to boast about the number of devices shipped, but very rarely come back and give concrete numbers for how many of those devices actually made it into consumer hands.
The Fast Company article says the TouchPad will become the only non Apple tablet to sell over 500,000 units. As a quick point of reference, that may make the TouchPad look fantastic next to the Android competition, but Apple has sold a staggering 27.7 million iPads. That isn’t second place, it’s the most distant second place possible.
The other thing to remember is that HP has essentially killed off this device and cut the price down to $99 just to get rid of the units. That discount amounts to 80% off the original price. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that HP isn’t making any money selling TouchPads for less than the price of a Wii.
Apparently HP has sold enough TouchPads to actual promise an update to the OS. An HP spokesperson told CNET “We expect that HP TouchPad owners can look forward to an over-the-air update that will enhance the platform and add functionality and a growing applications catalog.” That comment is very thin on details but for those who own a TouchPad, any update is better than no update.
Another positive note for TouchPad owners who are wondering exactly what to do with their $99 toy is that it appears running Android on the device is entirely possible. The fire sale price on the TouchPad means the Cyanogen Mod team has been able to get their hands on enough of the devices to get Android up and running. A TouchPad running Android suddenly becomes a far more desirable system, especially for $99.
If you are still looking to find a TouchPad for the bargain basement price all hope may not be lost. HP’s notification service sent out an email this morning indiciating the company may have more TouchPads to sell in the coming weeks. The email stated,
“The overwhelming demand for this product in recent days has made it difficult to fulfill your request at the present time, and we are working to make more available as soon as possible. While we do not yet have specific details, we know it will be at least a few weeks before we have a limited quantity available again.”
It’s not a promise but the possibility exists that more people will be able to score a cheap TouchPad sometime soon. HP has disabled their notification service for the TouchPad due to the overwhelming demand for the product but stalking their website may be worthwhile if you really want one of these tablets.
Did you get one of the $99 TouchPads? Plan on running Android on it? Hoping HP gets more in stock? Let us know in the comments.