Anyone still hankering for a $99 TouchPad can snag a few details about the tablet's future directly from Hewlett-Packard.
In a blog posted yesterday, HP representative Mark Budgell said he didn't know if or when more TouchPads will be available but promised an update "in the next few days." Anyone who has already signed up on HP's Web site to be notified of more stock will receive an e-mail, he said. But due to the overwhelming demand, HP has now turned off the ability to sign up for the notification service.
HP revealed two weeks ago that it was pulling the plug on the TouchPad as part of its decision to end its WebOS efforts and spin off its PC business. To get rid of excess inventory, the company gave the tablets bargain-basement prices--$99 for the 16GB version and $149 for the 32GB model. They previously cost $499 and $599, respectively.
But many prospective buyers hit a wall trying to order a tablet. At this point, TouchPad inventory from HP and most retailers is close to impossible to track down.
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Some customers have complained that a few retailers won't match the $99 price tag. Budgell sidestepped the issue and stated that retailers "manage their own policy and process regarding pricing and price matching."
Other customers apparently have grumbled about people who bought a bunch of TouchPads, only to sell them on eBay and Craigslist at a major profit. Budgell noted that HP will set an order limit if more tablets are released for sale.
People who've already ordered TouchPads online through HP may not necessarily get one. HP is advising buyers that they should already have received either an e-mail confirming the order or one cancelling it if stock had run out. Those eager to learn the status of their orders should contact HP's Live Assistant for help.
Finally, customers who've already received their TouchPads but are having buyer's remorse are out of luck. Tablets bought for $99 and $149 cannot be returned.
HP plans to update the status of the TouchPad through its Next Bench blog.