US buyers got a taste of very cheap TouchPads over the weekend. But what's going to happen to the Aussie models?
HP's dumping of the TouchPad was followed up pretty swiftly in the US by the announcement of fire sale prices that arguably made the TouchPad (for a brief moment) the single best value Tablet you could buy, at least if your needs were modest. US$149 for a 32GB Flash capable Web browsing, eBook reading tablet with decent speakers? Nobody's matching that in the low-price Android categories as yet.
Here in Australia we didn't get a fire sale announcement for the TouchPad, although Harvey Norman did institute an immediate 40% off all HP equipment sale, as well as offering refunds to any TouchPad buyers. Let us know in the commments if you picked up a bargain; given HP's got some decent Core i5 and i7 notebooks out there last weekend might just have been the best time to pick up a new Windows notebook in recent memory.
According to some unverified tweets I saw over the weekend, some Harvey Norman outlets were still selling the TouchPad, but not at the kinds of prices that our American cousins enjoyed; just at regular retail price. Those stores presumably didn't get the memo.
That still leaves open the question of where the Australian-shipped TouchPads will end up.The official statement from HP locally is pretty much a non-statement, and at the time of writing we're waiting to hear what the plans are.
What's known is that HP shipped around 6,000 TouchPads to Harvey Norman and in four days sold around 1,200 of them. Presumably some folks won't opt for refunds, but conservatively it'd be fair to guess that there's more than 5,000 TouchPads at the very least waiting to be sold.
What do you reckon? Will HP sell them off on its own Web site to avoid having to deal with retailers? Will they pop up on any of the more popular single-item-a-day tech sites? Or will HP's Sydney Headquarters suddenly rise up a metre higher than it used to be due to unusual "landfill"?