HP TouchPad sells out almost everywhere, Android coming soon

Last week, HP announced the TouchPad was being discontinued, causing stores to start "fire sales" on the devices. Prices dropped to just $99 USD for the 16GB model, and $150 USD for the 32GB model, and the prices have caused tablet fever, with most Best Buy stores selling out of the devices within 15 minutes of the sale beginning.

Now, a project has started to port Android to the HP TouchPad, causing a new round of lust for the devices. Stores across the internet have been selling out of the devices rapidly, with a Slick Deals thread reaching almost 800 pages (11,000 posts) only a few hours after being made. The Android port announcement came via Twitter, with Erik Hardesty, a Cyanogen contributor saying that; "[...]I plan on doing an AOSP port to the TouchPad, not Honeycomb."

Even though it is disappointing that it's not going to be Honeycomb just yet, it's likely it will hit the device soon enough if the team can get Android to boot at all. Development of Android for the TouchPad can be followed over on the RootzWiki forums. If you're planning on trying to pick a device up B&H, Amazon, OnSale, HP.com and many more sites are reported as being sold out, however PC Mall are reporting the devices are still in stock (but the site is experiencing extremely high load).

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Google+ now verifying some user profiles

Next Story

Striking Verizon workers to return to work Tuesday

64 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

All sites in UK look like they've sold out within an hour or so. All sites that did sell it crashed all the time and bah what a state. I missed out

AdamLC said,

Source?

Told u i knew....i had spoken direct with HP, if you'd have asked for info nicely i'd have told u earlier exactly where i got the info from...oh well, some people will never learn.

Bundlebox sounds great but I don't want to order only to lose $15 sign up fee as this the only time I would use it if I nit quick enough to order. Lets hope UK gets fire sale

In the words of Dark Helmet, "Foooooolllllllllllll Yooooooouuuuuuuuuu!"

So who wants to bet HP has a change-of-heart and will continue making these? Maybe not with WebOS... but with... Android? Hummm? Maybe?

Open Minded said,
In the words of Dark Helmet, "Foooooolllllllllllll Yooooooouuuuuuuuuu!"

So who wants to bet HP has a change-of-heart and will continue making these? Maybe not with WebOS... but with... Android? Hummm? Maybe?


They're branching/selling off their hardware division, remember? Don't hold your breath.

yup still £349.99 at PC World, I'll snag one if they drop the prices, seems almost criminal they'd leave out the whole of Europe!!

alexalex said,
Will the Zoom and PlayBook prices drop to $149.99 now ?

No, because this isn't a long-term price strategy that would cause a price war. These will sell out and that'll be that.

WP7 said,
No fire sale in UK :-(

Looks like Europe has been left out completely as just checked all the euro amazon, hp, pc world, etc and no one has discounted yet....

madasafish said,

Looks like Europe has been left out completely as just checked all the euro amazon, hp, pc world, etc and no one has discounted yet....

Yeah rubbish, id buy 2

WP7 said,
No fire sale in UK :-(

Yup still £349.99 on PC World site, Dam them to hell! I'll grab one if they drop, use Android and hope W8 will run on it (cant see why not, the architecture will be supported, and drivers should be available for the other W8 devices), if not I'll make do with Android for ths price...

From what I have seen of the webOS on videos, it looks rather lame to me. I don't like it.

And I highly doubt they can just sell the webOS to someone else. The company they sell it to isn't going to give free support/updates for a product they didn't make or sell.

And by HP dumping these on the market like this at a huge loss, there is a good chance its going to hurt other Android tablet makers, maybe even causing some of them to go out of business.

Mohitster said,
Anyone shipping internationally...not able to find anything yet?.....I am drooling all over!!

Use bundlebox to ship to your country.

andrew_f said,

Use bundlebox to ship to your country.

Thanks! I registered couple of hours back on foreignshopper .... waiting for the process to complete, so that i can go on and shop! any idea how is its quality of service? and about bundlebox too....have you been using it?

Nah, they couldn't sell them at a profit. They basically did the fire sale to increase the value of webOS by ensuring there's a 300,000+ device ecosystem out there. That makes it worth it for developers to stick with webOS (although not necessarily new ones to jump to it) to support the suddenly much larger userbase, and that'll have them around for another company that chooses to make a webOS device.

Just goes to show how much of an affect price can have on how well a device sells. Price drops to a reasonable level, plus the fear of not having any more, and they go like hotcakes.

CoMMo said,
Just goes to show how much of an affect price can have on how well a device sells. Price drops to a reasonable level, plus the fear of not having any more, and they go like hotcakes.

Honestly at this point HP Could change their mind and make more of them. After this fire sale they would now have pretty damn good market saturation.

warwagon said,
Honestly at this point HP Could change their mind and make more of them. After this fire sale they would now have pretty damn good market saturation.
That would be an interesting thing to do. It would also create market demand for them because people would turn around and sell them like they did with the Xbox, Wii and PS3 during their respective initial launches, which just created more demand.

At this point they should sell them for a minor loss (around $300) and let the App Store and the next version recoup their costs. I think you are right; they could turn this into a killing proposition for themselves.

Of course, it's HP. They won't do that.

reidtheweed01 said,
If HP had just come out from the start and took a loss and sold them at $199 they would dominated the market.

Maybe $299 at launch. Still a loss, but not nearly as significant, would still stand out on store shelves, and HP could make it up in app sales, but...

Devs would probably revolt. The video game sales model is super effective when piracy is minimal (selling hardware at a loss, making it up in cut of game sales), but to make up enough money in app sales per unit, every user would either need to buy a LOT of software, pay for some kind of subscription service (if HP could come up with one), or software costs would have to be inflated to allow for a bigger cut for HP. The latter would make it harder for devs to charge equally across platforms, and could probably cause other problems to the platform's ecosystem.

Iono, I LIKE the idea of subsidizing hardware cost with software in theory, but it ultimately becomes unfair when you figure things like the sheer volume of smartphone users who've never bought a single app. If that holds true in the tablet world, the burden of the subsidy would be heavier on app buyers and nonexistent on casual users, when people buying apps should instead be rewarded for keeping the ecosystem healthy.

Funny, Best Buy's ad came out today. They are still selling the touchpad for the original price. I guess they didnt get the memo.

techbeck said,
Funny, Best Buy's ad came out today. They are still selling the touchpad for the original price. I guess they didnt get the memo.

I'm sure the ad was printed before the price drop...They don't just print them the morning of.

tytytucke said,
I would only get android for the apps, I'm happy with every other aspect webos. The touchpad Hardware could be better...

Hardware is almost the same as the Evo 3D
that's top of the line hardware
WebOs is not optimised at all yet.

but with the coming og Ice Cream Sandwich (next version of android) being released AOSP it will be ported soon

I ordered one from Amazon, seems if HP was willing to take a loss and try to recover it on the app store it has, could have done just fine.

bdsams said,
I ordered one from Amazon, seems if HP was willing to take a loss and try to recover it on the app store it has, could have done just fine.

I also ordered one from Amazon. Fingers crossed.

I went to the local Walmart last week, and the shelf was slammed with them. I would say about 20 units. I went today, and they were all gone. They didn't even have time to change the shelf price.

I think Android would be a good idea for the Touchpad when it gets to the point where the apps no longer work with the APIs once they're updated.

omgben said,
I went to the local Walmart last week, and the shelf was slammed with them. I would say about 20 units. I went today, and they were all gone. They didn't even have time to change the shelf price.
.

I would bet most of these sales are people who think they are going to resell them on ebay for a profit. They most likely buy as many as they can.

jd100 said,

I would bet most of these sales are people who think they are going to resell them on ebay for a profit. They most likely buy as many as they can.

Yeah, look at any thread on any deals site tracking sales and they're loading with commenters proudly talking about how they snagged 5-10 units. Sad story for them, though, is this rush is probably the last interest the TouchPad will ever see. These aren't iPads, and there won't be mad spending sprees for them on eBay by they time they get their shipments in hand.

And anyway, similarly spec'ed pure Android tablets will be last-gen by this holiday season and in the sub-$200 range for Christmas or New Year's for shoppers, and will be much easier to get support for. So all they've accomplished is hurting the enthusiast community by keeping the units out of the hands of more individuals.

I wanted to get a 32gb on HP site but couldnt even load the page. Heard a promo code made it only cost $120.

Gonna have to get one off of craigslist now. Hoping tablet prices will drop a lot during black friday

went to best buy, walmart, target, office depot, costco, kmart, staples, and all of these in towns surrounding mine, and sold out everywhere!!!!

ShareShiz said,

will windows 8 run on a touchpad ?

good luck... Win8 is closed source so no optimisation on the cpu , drivers etc....
Android is better suited for port because it's an Open Source Project. Also TouchPad is running the same hardware as the EVO3D

NesTle said,

good luck... Win8 is closed source so no optimisation on the cpu , drivers etc....
Android is better suited for port because it's an Open Source Project. Also TouchPad is running the same hardware as the EVO3D


Well, the TouchPad uses Snapdragon, & Windows 8 has been demonstrated on devices that use it, so hopefully it will work...

NesTle said,

good luck... Win8 is closed source so no optimisation on the cpu , drivers etc....
Android is better suited for port because it's an Open Source Project. Also TouchPad is running the same hardware as the EVO3D

Just because it's closed source doesn't mean it can't be modified to work. Windows 8 supports Snapdragon which is the Touchpad processor.

DukeEsquire said,

Just because it's closed source doesn't mean it can't be modified to work. Windows 8 supports Snapdragon which is the Touchpad processor.

With closed source, you have to wait for Microsoft to do the modifications, if they ever feel like doing it. With open source, you, Microsoft, or anybody can do the modifications whenever they want. Pretty cool idea huh?

MS Lose32 said,
With closed source, you have to wait for Microsoft to do the modifications, if they ever feel like doing it. With open source, you, Microsoft, or anybody can do the modifications whenever they want. Pretty cool idea huh?

That's assuming that 1) the device owner wanted Android versus Windows 8 in the first place, 2) you're talking about a product that it's even finished yet, of course it's not going to suddenly appear on a device that's no longer being made, and 3), you're still waiting for somebody to actually do the work. Microsoft or some other team, either way you're still waiting. If it even works at all, let alone reliably.

Max Norris said,

That's assuming that 1) the device owner wanted Android versus Windows 8 in the first place, 2) you're talking about a product that it's even finished yet, of course it's not going to suddenly appear on a device that's no longer being made, and 3), you're still waiting for somebody to actually do the work. Microsoft or some other team, either way you're still waiting. If it even works at all, let alone reliably.
I'm simply pointing out one of the major benefits of an open-source OS. I know a lot of people will prefer Windows over Android, and a lot of people won't.

With Microsoft, a TouchPad port of Windows 8 is a matter of if, with Android, it's more a matter of when. Besides, have you ever heard of CyanogenMod? There are lots of brilliant hackers out there that are willing to organize (like CyanogenMod) that can port Android to almost anything.

MS Lose32 said,
I'm simply pointing out one of the major benefits of an open-source OS. I know a lot of people will prefer Windows over Android, and a lot of people won't.

With Microsoft, a TouchPad port of Windows 8 is a matter of if, with Android, it's more a matter of when. Besides, have you ever heard of CyanogenMod? There are lots of brilliant hackers out there that are willing to organize (like CyanogenMod) that can port Android to almost anything.

While I agree that, in the case of the TouchPad, it's a matter of 'when', it's only because of this past weekend putting a crapload of these devices into the hands of hobbyists and probably launching a newly motivated hacking community for the discontinued device (sort of like when something robotic goes super cheap and becomes the next favorite toy of tinkerers and modders with YouTube channels).

But had it just quietly faded into nothingness and this sale never happened, Android would be a significantly weaker certainty. It's easy to rub off to the idea that, with open source, anything is possible, but reality has ALWAYS been that it's a flip of a coin whether or not hacking efforts go anywhere. 99% of users have absolutely zero desire to learn the difference between if and then, let alone how to code, and therefore will never contribute anything to any open project anywhere, ever, and no amount of principle waving will ever change that. The few people left are all too often lacking focus or organization, leaving us with crappy experiences like a pathetic Android x86 project (when Hackintosh happens faster than Android, well, yikes), Linux's inability to unify behind an audio standard and ten year struggle to support wireless networking, and bizarre control freakery like Canonical doing wild GUI changes to Ubuntu and literally telling the almost universal backlash that it's happening anyway and they'll learn to like it.

What I find far more interesting is the open community's strange opposition to tablets becoming like PCs, where OSes can be installed, wiped, and reinstalled at will from an external source. While wanting to put Android on any and everything is accepted at the core, I think there's an overwhelming fear that if the hardware becomes too open and accessible, Microsoft will just make their tablet OS as driver-packed for tablets as it is for desktops (shouldn't be too hard when there isn't a 3rd party hardware market for tablets, after all) and take the tablet market by storm as rapidly and effectively as they did the netbook market--a memory FOSS advocates still have nightmares about.

Hell yeah, rocking the 32GB, got it from Bestbuy. I don't see the point of Android on this tablet. WebOS is a fantastic OS, granted it doesn't have the apps or developers that ios or android do, but it works great out of the box.

tsupersonic said,
Hell yeah, rocking the 32GB, got it from Bestbuy. I don't see the point of Android on this tablet. WebOS is a fantastic OS, granted it doesn't have the apps or developers that ios or android do, but it works great out of the box.

The lack of apps is crippling.

Want to watch MKV videos? Nope.
Remote desktop? Nope.
Music store? Nope.

Furthermore, many of the existing apps were not designed with the Tablet in mind so things like Grooveshark or Pandora or NYT actually live in a tiny, emulated Pre.

There are a lot of big holes. Lastly, what existing apps there are will probably no longer updates on existing apps.