Bye, bye $99 TouchPad: HP says tablet officially out of stock

Hewlett-Packard sent out notices today indicating that it is officially out of TouchPads. That means don't expect any more shipments of those popular $99 tablets.

Hewlett-Packard sent out notices today that it is officially out of TouchPads, meaning there will be no more shipments of those popular $99 tablets.

The notice says, "As you signed up for updates on the HP TouchPad, we wanted you to know that we are officially out of stock. Some retailers will have some stock available, but our online inventory is depleted."

Hewlett-Packard had been selling the tablet for $99 back in August. And more were expected.
Hewlett-Packard had been selling the tablet for $99 back in August. And more were expected. Hewlett-Packard

The only other avenue for getting a TouchPad is Best Buy. The retailer announced today that it will offer a 32 GB HP TouchPad for $149.99 with purchase of an HP or Compaq Laptop, Desktop or All-in-One computer.

The official demise of the TouchPad coincides with a report Friday pointing to the end of TouchPad production. Citing sources, Asia-based Digitimes said TouchPad manufacturer Inventec had laid off 400 employees because it "has to stop production of Hewlett-Packard's...WebOS tablet PCs, and also expects no new orders for other devices."

And in related news, there was a report Friday that HP will shut down the group responsible the WebOS software. HP CEO Meg Whitman said Thursday in an conference call that the company was "going to make a decision about the long-term future of WebOS over the next couple of months." The WebOS hardware business has already been shuttered.

The HP TouchPad became a runaway bestseller in August when HP, after shutting down its WebOS device business, immediately began liquidating TouchPad inventory starting at $99.99 for the 16GB version, slashing $300 off the price.

In the ensuing days, HP's TouchPad sales site and retailers quickly sold out of stock. At that time, HP indicated that more would be available in the "coming weeks and months." In fact, there had been expectations that HP would manufacture a limited quantity of TouchPads during the fourth quarter.

Oddly, a notice still appears on HP's TouchPad sales page: "We are unfortunately sold out at this time, however a limited supply of units will be made available in the coming weeks and months." But the wording of that notice hasn't changed for months.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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