After a resale run that had consumers clamoring for the discontinued tablet, has Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad finally lost its appeal?
If eBay and Amazon listings are any indication, that appears to be the case.
Amazon.com currently lists 59 new 16 gigabyte Wi-Fi TouchPads, ranging in price from $263.69 to $272.99. There are also 18 used TouchPads (and a couple of refurbished ones) being sold via the site.
EBay shows more than a hundred 32GB TouchPads for sale, some available through auction and others through immediate purchasing, ranging from $225 to $350 (yes, really).
It’s a far cry from the fire sale on the device earlier this month, through HP’s own eBay channel. It was reported that the computer maker went through its remaining inventory in minutes at resale.
Of course, TouchPads were then going for a mere $99 — much less than the original asking price of $399 (for 16GB) and $499 (32GB).
The TouchPad first hit stores on July 1. But it failed to catch on with consumers, and HP announced six weeks later that it would be exiting the hardware business of its webOS software system. That meant the death of the TouchPad, which had seen disappointing sales, to put it kindly.
Suddenly, the discounted device became a hot item, with some vendors reselling fetching nearly $300 for the tablet on eBay.
In October, the tablet was offered as a part of a bundle with any HP- or Compaq-branded PC, through Best Buy, which had sold less than 10 percent of the 270,000 TouchPads it had in stock.
It’s hard to say whether the TouchPad would still be flying off virtual shelves now, post-holiday, if it was listed at a lower price point. HP recently decided to open up webOS to the outside development community, but there are still questions about the future of the platform. With no new apps coming for the killed tablet, and with users facing the possibility of a lack of technical support — not to mention the entrance of the $199 Kindle Fire into the tablet market — it’s hard to imagine that many people will want to pay exorbitant prices for HP’s tablet.
But for now it’s safe to say that consumers don’t seem to want to touch the TouchPad anymore.