HP producing 'one last run of TouchPads;' availability still unclear

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HP is still struggling with the overwhelming demand generated from its $99 TouchPad fire sale earlier this month. In an update to an existing blog post, the company has announced that it is going to manufacture a few more TouchPads, though they won't be available for "a few weeks:"

Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand. We don’t know exactly when these units will be available or how many we’ll get, and we can’t promise we’ll have enough for everyone. We do know that it will be at least a few weeks before you can purchase.

The update comes on the heels of a DigiTiimes article that claims HP's upstream component suppliers have been left in a bit of a lurch after HP's sudden about-face on webOS hardware. Specifically, parts for the now-cancelled 7-inch TouchPad Go are apparently lying about unused. While DigiTimes has a spotty track record at times, this report rings true and also leads us to believe that part of the motivation for the new run of full-sized TouchPads is a glut of components in HP's channels.

HP is also doing its best to keep webOS interest alive as it engages full-on damage-control mode over the Personal Systems Group. An HP spokeswoman told Reuters that it prefers a spin-off to a sale for the PSG. WebOS's future is just as cloudy, but HP did tell CNET that it intends to release further OTA updates in the future. Additionally, Todd Bradley gave an interview re-emphasizing his desire to stay with the unit, but took the opportunity to add an extra webOS comment: "Tablet computing is a segment of the market that's relevant, absolutely." Although webOS currently resides within the PSG, whether it will stay with that division or move into an enterprise-focused HP is as-yet unclear.

In the meantime, exactly what TouchPad availability will look like once HP gets more stock is up in the air. The company is still struggling to play catch-up with the basic logistics of the orders and interest it has already received. The blog post linked below has a long list of questions and answers that show how unprepared HP was (and is) for the overwhelming demand for a $99 TouchPad. Hopefully HP can parlay that interest into a licensing deal with a major manufacturer sometime soon.

Source: HP Blog; via AllThingsD

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