HP launched the TouchPad tablet on July 1st with a starting price of $499. Tomorrow you’ll be able to pick one up for just $99.
Following news that HP plans to exist the webOS hardware space, the company will begin selling off its existing tablet stock at prices that are far below cost. Best Buy Canada is already showing listings fora $99 HP TouchPad 16GB WiFi tablet and a 32GB model for $149, and HP affiliate websites received a note tonight indicating that the tablets will go on sale for the same prices at HP.com tomorrow.
There’s currently no indication that the new 64GB model will get a price cut — which means that you may have to pay an extra $450 to get a slightly faster processor and a little extra storage space. But I suspect we’ll see that model go on sale soon as well, even if it only officially launched today.
Now that HP is discontinuing the TouchPad and the future of the webOS operating system is unclear, it would be hard to recommend that anybody buy the tablet at full price for $399. But for $99? Sure you may not be able to find many third party apps, and you shouldn’t expect any software updates or improvements. But if you’re looking for a cheap device for surfing the web, reading eBooks, or watching movies and you don’t particularly care about third party apps, the TouchPad is starting to look pretty good again (or for the first time).
Update: The new prices are live at HP.com and a number of online retailers — but they’re having a hard time keeping the tablet in stock at these prices. I suspect there will also be a rush at bricks and mortar stores this weekend. In other news, it looks like the first serious effort to port Android to run on the HP TouchPad is getting started.