HP Touchpad: Web OS is dead…or maybe not!

If you haven’t seen this going on today and yesterday, maybe you haven’t been on the internet, or maybe you don’t have any techie friends, but HP just made a crazy move and totally dropped the bottom out of their prices on the HP Touchpad.

WebOS has never been a popular operating system and has been shadowed by the iPad and the Android tablets.  These statistics of sales would obviously scare advertisers away from the platform.  So, what never got going after it’s release, spiraled down until an announcement that made it to tech websites saying that the “WebOS” is dead.  That was followed by huge price reductions yesterday and today.  The 16 GB model was liquidated for $99  (discounted from $399) and 32 GB model for $149 (discounted from $499).

I picked up a 16 GB from Amazon.com today.

However, it’s quite interesting to read HP’s actual statement that was made on their website.

In an announcement on August 18th, they did say that they were going to “discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the Touchpad and webOS phones.  HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.”

That certainly sounds like there will still be some development for the webOS…

It’s quite interesting to think about now much “negative” press that HP has received surrounding this announcement

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.  Yes, it was negative press; however, it was press and publicity.  If you keep reading their press release, it says this in “Forward Looking Statements”:

“This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If the risks or uncertainties ever materialize or the assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to any projections of revenue, margins, expenses, earnings, tax provisions, cash flows, benefit obligations, share repurchases, currency exchange rates, the impact of acquisitions or other financial items; any statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations…”

This is VERY interesting.  They have totally covered themselves if they decide to go back on this announcement.  Could this have been a marketing stunt?

So, you’ve got HP making this announcement, then asking retailers to drop their prices (I’m sure they were reimbursed for their loss in profit) on all the existing hundreds of thousands that have been produced and distributed already.  Was the liquidation actually a plan to simply get their product into the hands of users more quickly while also making sure that they don’t get burned for the cost of their hardware?  So, what happens if users really like it now?  Could it simply be that WebOS is great but since no one is on the platform, no one really knows or talks about it?

Could this have been one of the most brilliant marketing stunts to hit tech enthusiasts?

UPDATED: 8/22/2011

HP’s website  states that “Due to the significant price reduction, we experienced overwhelming demand for the product and are TEMPORARILY out of inventory.”  Temporarily?  I thought they were discontinued??


Feel free to comment with your thoughts!!


Check out my blog entries on the T-Mobile mytouch 4G, mytouch 4G Powerskin and the new T-Mobile Bracketed Data plans

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3 Responses to “HP Touchpad: Web OS is dead…or maybe not!”

  1. p August 22, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    intresting, i had the same thought, what if it was a marketing stunt, imagine a million tablets sold in under 48 hrs, suddenly no need of advertising and nothing else, just pure subsidized hardware for more payment in terms of apps?

  2. M August 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    I think they have more inventory in transit that they will be selling.

    • jasoncastellente August 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

      I’m certainly wondering what’s going to happen. It almost sounds like “conspiracy theory” but at the same time, you never know what could be going on!

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