August 23, 2011

HP TouchPads Fly Off Shelves Thanks to $99 Firesale

Late last week, HP announced that it was nuking its tablet and smartphone lines and putting WebOS on hold. All well and good for HP, but retailers still had tons of unsold stock taking up shelf space. HP's solution to that problem was a fire sale: The 16GB TouchPad was dropped from $400 to just $99, while the 32GB TouchPad fell to $149 from $500. This is in addition to the price drop that saw the sticker price for the two devices fall from $500 and $600, respectively. HP sent out the memo to its affiliates to drop the price starting August 20, but and Future Shop made the cut late on Friday night, leading to frenzied anticipation for U.S. retailers to drop their prices, too.

Of course, once they did, it didn't take long for online stores like to run out of stock completely. HP's own website had trouble keeping up, suffering database errors on Saturday and 404'ing on Sunday. According to ZDNet, the company's call center also had some serious problems on Saturday; the reps simply couldn't handle the number of calls coming in from customers. In store, people queued for hours to get their hands on the limited numbers of TouchPads available and many left disappointed.


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