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HP Touchpad Fire Sale nearing its End…

As the HP fire sale comes to a close, it is interesting to see the results.  HP announced a sale running from August 20 to 22nd, selling the HP Touchpad for 99$ (16gb) and 150$ (16gb) respectively.

One heck of a deal.  As a side effect, stores everywhere sold out in a matter of minutes.  eBay and Kijiji were flooded with people looking to sell the tablets back to the public for 200-300$.

From an outside perspective, this could be a brilliant marketing ploy for the public.  And although HP has announced webOS as discontinued for tablets its possible this could be a way to revamp it.  Afterall, the discontuation was recent and can easily be changed.

However, as BestBuy, Staples and other stores have announced a surplus of 400,000 tablets – you might wonder how they can sell out in minutes?  Well, easy!  They aren’t selling the tablets to the public, they are returning them to HP.

Interestingly HP is offering to buy-back the tablets at full value.  Reducing the profit margin for large business by allowing them to sell the tablets so cheap.  And the companies are cashing in!

There are still some problems to mention!  Namely, HP’s website for Canada shows the 99$ and 149$ prices on their banner.  However, following the links through still lead to the full price of the product.  It would be nice to notify HP, if they bothered to listen to the public on the weekend.  Some people are banking on this and buying the tablets at full price, hoping to negotiate for a refund on Monday.  However this is a risky gamble.

So, what are some ways you can get one?

– Buy online, in a small town you have no access to for pick up.  When the fire sale ends, have your purchase transfered to a local location.

– Seek small mom & pop businesses that are selling the Tablets.

– Expand your range.

– Purchase direct from HP and negotiate the price later.

Some other rumours abound from BestBuy and FutureShop staff that contrary to HP’s messaging the 99$ discount will be permanent.  However this is far from verified.  Purchase at your own risk, but if you can cash in on the deal — do it! If nothing else, it is a great deal for a 16GB MP3 player with video and full web browsing capabilities.

Did you buy a 99$ unit and need an idea of what to do with it?  Mount it in your kitchen and use it for recipes and youtube while cooking!  Or use it to replace a document reader.  Either way, even if you buy in at the eBay price of 200$, the 16GB multi use device is certainly worth the deal.  Especially considering the web browsing itself is phenomenal.

It is still debatable what the long term impact will be of this decsion.  However it is rumoured that HP spent 100,000,000$ on the discount for the units.  This is a lot of money, but could be small potatoes if you consider the impact.  If they decide to revive the WebOS tablet and development community, it may have a surprising turn of events!  After all, the online electronic community just bought up all excess tablets and demand went through the roof!  Thats the same group that develops applications for other platforms.  By getting them tablets, you get their buy-in to your product.

Could the HP Touchpad become the next Dreamcast?  Only time will tell for sure!  But I wouldn’t count them out yet.  They are certainly thinking outside the box, and its nice to see a company rewarding the public for once.  That is, unless you bought a tablet at the 599$ price point.

~Lloyd

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