Hewlett-Packard sent out notices today that it is officially out of TouchPads, meaning there will be no more shipments of those popular $99 tablets.
The notice says, "As you signed up for updates on the HP TouchPad, we wanted you to know that we are officially out of stock. Some retailers will have some stock available, but our online inventory is depleted."
The only other avenue for getting a TouchPad is Best Buy. The retailer announced today that it will offer a 32 GB HP TouchPad for $149.99 with purchase of an HP or Compaq Laptop, Desktop or All-in-One computer.
The official demise of the TouchPad coincides with a report Friday pointing to the end of TouchPad production. Citing sources, Asia-based Digitimes said TouchPad manufacturer Inventec had laid off 400 employees because it "has to stop production of Hewlett-Packard's...WebOS tablet PCs, and also expects no new orders for other devices."
And in related news, there was a report Friday that HP will shut down the group responsible the WebOS software. HP CEO Meg Whitman said Thursday in an conference call that the company was "going to make a decision about the long-term future of WebOS over the next couple of months." The WebOS hardware business has already been shuttered.
The HP TouchPad became a runaway bestseller in August when HP, after shutting down its WebOS device business, immediately began liquidating TouchPad inventory starting at $99.99 for the 16GB version, slashing $300 off the price.
In the ensuing days, HP's TouchPad sales site and retailers quickly sold out of stock. At that time, HP indicated that more would be available in the "coming weeks and months." In fact, there had been expectations that HP would manufacture a limited quantity of TouchPads during the fourth quarter.
Oddly, a notice still appears on HP's TouchPad sales page: "We are unfortunately sold out at this time, however a limited supply of units will be made available in the coming weeks and months." But the wording of that notice hasn't changed for months.