HP said today that the company would produce one last run of its discontinued TouchPad tablets to meet "unfulfilled demand."
The news came from HP's Mark Budgell, PR manager, social media strategy, on HP's The Next Bench blog.
The news flies in the face of the company's announcement earlier this month that it would cease production of hardware based on its webOS. HP on August 18 dropped the price of the 16GB TouchPad to $US99 and the 32GB model to $US149 after the discontinuations announcement, provoking a firestorm of demand.
When Do They Arrive?
The date the new TouchPads would be available is not yet known, and Budgell wrote that HP could not guarantee one to everyone who wanted one.
"Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand," Budgell wrote. "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. "
He added that HP is still committed to discontinuing the development of webOS devices and will totally wind down making them by the end of company's fourth fiscal quarter.
Budgell also said that retailers with TouchPad inventory could make their own decisions on the pricing of the discontinued tablets.
The blog entry has an FAQ on the new crop of tablets.
Thank You Offer
Showing that the company suffers from a bit of a tin ear, HP sent an thank-you email out today to those who signed up for notification of the $99 tablet's availability. In it, HP offered the recipients a 25-percent discount on any HP product priced at $599 or above if the purchase is made by end of day tomorrow.
HP's email said: "We are grateful for your patience and loyalty and to show our gratitude, we are offering you an exclusive one-time opportunity to save an additional amount on all of our products, valid through the end of the day tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31, 2011. You'll save 25 per cent off all printers, ink, HP accessories, and PCs starting at or above $US599. "
One recipient who sent PCWorld the email, commented: "Wow, what a generous deal" in a suspiciously sarcastic way.