I was sitting at my desk around 7pm on Friday night when I get a call, my cousin tells me to drop everything I’m doing and get on Red Flag Deals. As soon as I open it, I see that the HP TouchPad has dropped from $399 to $99. About 2 minutes later I am out the door, (couldn’t find my shoes and couldn’t remember if I was wearing any pants) and about 6 minutes later I am at Future Shop. Of course Future Shop has its head up its ass, I think they call it standard operating procedure. A couple is already there trying to purchase one, (this guy knew because he worked for a developer and they apparently got a memo) and they tell me that an employee has gone to get a manager, who of course comes prepared to tell us that they don’t honor ‘special events.’ This couple is awesome and have already pulled up Future Shop’s website (on the TouchPad no less) showing that it is Future Shop’s own price. Stops her dead in her tracks, tells us okay, I will sell it to you, only to back track 3 minutes later. We decide instead of arguing with her, to go online and to do a Online Order with a store pickup. Fortunately, through previous experience with Future Shop and the vicarious experiences of countless other Future Shop
victims customers, I knew to move quickly to another store, so we headed to Staples where the Staples website had not been updated to reflect the new price. Long story short I walked out with a 32GB Touchpad with an additional 10% price match discount. Oh, and just so you know, about 18 hours later, Future Shop sends me an Email saying that they cannot fulfill my order. See standard operating procedure above.
Apparently, HP has stumbled upon genius or total stupidity. A tablet that no one wanted has become the must have item literally overnight. With a total price drop of $400 from the initial offering HP has announced that it is officially getting out of the tablet market just a few weeks into it. Now that their entire inventory is sold out, developers will have a base to sell their apps to. Also, should a port to the Android marketplace come, this will only enhance the value of the TouchPad which was up until Thursday of last week, Kryptonite for all us super consumers. So of course I was able to get my hands on one, and as soon as I get to play with it, I’ll have my review up, and take away this if nothing else, if all it ever does is surf the net, that alone will be worth it as flash support in a tablet is awesome. I’m finding the experience with WebOS to be quite remarkable. Apparently, the only way to secure one now is to go online to HP.Com and pick it up, but even though it is listed as $99 and $149 respectively there was an issue in getting that price and even though they seemed to have fixed that issue, there are still problems going forward. All store locations have seemed to have sold out within a day or so, and rumors of second (and possibly third) shipments are coming in. This of course could be it and they are all gone, the only way to get them now are to pay hoarders on KJ/CL a premium. There may be a chance you can still find some in stores, and for that, I will simply wish you good luck and good hunting.
Just to give you a sense how much they are losing on each one, just replace the $499.99 and $599.99 with $99.99 and $149.99 now.
August 23rd, 2011 update: The fire sale seems to be over for now as most retailers have run out of stock and returned the prices back to normal. However, there is a rumor that there is a warehouse full of these devices that will be pushed out into the market. They may not hit stores like Best Buy, but you may be able to score it off of HP itself. I don’t think after that there will be any chance for anyone to get any, so make sure you are quick out of the gate should any new stock appear!
Purchase Link to HP.ca
August 24th, 2011 update: Still nothing in terms of stock, but the shipping and delivery of units is beginning to trickle in for those who ordered on Friday and Saturday from the HP.ca website. There were also a few fringe online stores that no one has heard of that are claiming to fill their orders, however, as of yet no one is claiming to have received anything from them except for a order number. When the BlackBerry Playbook was released, I mentioned that the $499 price point was wrong and that competing tablets should come out at the $399.99 price point and that RIM would regret it later on, apparently this applies to all tablet manufacturers not named ‘Apple.’ Read what I wrote about here, and this is the second or third article that mentions that the TouchPad should have come out at the $399.99 price point.