HP TouchPad sold out after weekend fire sale

Hewlett Packard launched the TouchPad on July 1 and it quickly became a flop. By August it was reported that Best Buy could only sell 10 percent of the 270,000 units in stock. Hewlett Packard responded by having a weekend fire sale to unload inventory. TouchPads went from $399 to $99 and $499 to $149 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. In an ironic twist, the fire sale drummed up so much demand for the tablet computer that units were being sold on eBay for up to $350. 2011: Year in Review
HP TouchPad

(CBS) - Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad set the Internet wild over the weekend after the tablet's fire sale.

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Retailers nationwide dropped the price of HP's TouchPad from $399 to $99 and $499 to $149 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. For comparison sake, Apple's iPad starts at $499 for a 16GB model. News spread quickly on Saturday and by Monday morning the tablets were sold out at chains like Barnes & Noble and Best Buy.

The fire sale came only one day after the announcement that the tablet would be discontinued, leaving its operating system, webOS, out in the cold.

A week ago Arik Hesseldahl at AllThingsD reported that Best Buy was only able to sell 10% of the 270,000 TouchPads in stock. The electronics retailer was obviously unhappy with the lackluster numbers. According to Hesseldahl's source, Best Buy "told HP it [was] unwilling to pay for all the TouchPads taking up expensive space in its stores and warehouses, and want[ed] HP to take them back."

We're guessing this is how HP responded to the complaints. It was probably one of the smartest moves the company has made regarding the tablet. Hey, it's got us all talking, right?

The success of the sale leaves us feeling there was never an issue of product, but price point. Non-Apple consumers just aren't ready to spend that kind of money on, well, non-Apple products.

Consumers who want to live dangerously can still buy the TouchPad on eBay, however, keep in mind that webOS is no longer supported. Meaning, there will be no new apps and no updates for the tablet.

Perhaps the show of interest will convince HP to keep developing lower-priced products for webOS.