RIP HP TouchPad

Wow, did you blink last week and miss out on the Australian TouchPad release? One day it was happily selling at Harvey Norman, the next it was yanked off shelf and no longer offered for sale. Why? In a recent one on one with HP’s WebOs guys, they were talking about new products coming in the WebOS space beyond the TouchPad. We talked about Smart phones and Multifunction printing devices running the WebOS software, it all sounded really cool.

But with the first product out of the gate not doing well HP were left with a choice. Spend more money on the WebOS platform, perfecting it and marketing it OR cut the losses and look at how else to make money.

HP has gone with option 2.

So why did Harvey Norman pull the product from sale and offer refunds? If you had just ponyied up $500+ for the latest and greatest tablet only to find out that the company making it were no longer supporting it you would be angry. No support means NO encouragement to app developers to build apps. NO software up-dates. NO way of getting ongoing platform development for other devices that come onto the market that would look to work with your tablet. NO encouragement for accessory creation and more.

Also, if you are a customer and you are going to purchase something, it is nice to know that if the rug gets pulled out from under your feet immediately after purchase by a decision made across the other side of the planet, you will not be left high and dry. No, it was the right decision and I told them that on Friday when I was organising and interview for the Ross Greenwood Money News show.

It’s a shame, I really liked the TouchPad. Sure it looked like an iPad2, but was heavier and clunkier. It had less apps and was a new starter in game where the lead horse was bolting faster and faster away. But, it had potential and some nice little features to.

What now with all the TouchPads that are not sold in Australia? Harvey Norman who was the exclusive retailer had sold 1200 units of a first drop of 6000 units. Best Buy sold theirs for $100 a throw, what a bargain! Seriously, for $100 it is a bargain. Will Harvey Norman do the same, no doubt a decision will be made this week.

Up-date – Harvey Norman will be selling the remaining Touchpad devices for $98 and accessories at 50% off the RRP. This is an absolute bargain. I think I might even get one for myself!