A short-lived piece of computing history could soon be yours at an aggressive discount. Even though Best Buy continues to put HP’s “dead-tablet walking” TouchPad at the center of its redesigned tablet floor display area, it probably won’t be priced at its current level for much longer.
When HP (NYSE: HPQ) launched the TouchPad just six weeks ago it seemed committed to giving the WebOS tablet a puncher’s chance in the nascent tablet market, which for all intents and purposes so far has been an iPad market. It spent the money to make sure the TouchPad was prominently displayed before shoppers at Best Buy, but that decision has not panned out, with HP’s decision to exit the tablet hardware market in hopes of licensing or selling WebOS to a third party.
Now with both Best Buy and HP sitting on thousands of unsold tablets, expect heavy discounts soon at a retailer near you. Best Buy employees at the store’s Emeryville, CA store said Friday that discounts were coming to the devices–which were still available at the already discounted price of $399 and $499 Friday afternoon–but they weren’t sure when those would take hold.
Buying a TouchPad at this point would definitely be a risk: HP is not likely to support the models beyond a year or so, depending on what happens to its WebOS division. However, if you were wondering what all the fuss was over WebOS, or looking for the cheapest possible entry into tablet computing, the TouchPad may soon be your best bet.
Updated 5:10 p.m PT: As we told you was coming earlier, HP has already cut the price of the TouchPad on Best Buy’s Web site to $99 for the 16GB model and $149 for the 32GB model.