HP Says Supply Will Meet TouchPad Demand

Boxer Manny Pacquiao in the HP TouchPad ad.

Ever since HP announced that it was discontinuing its six-week-old tablet, the TouchPad, demand has spiked. This is because of the drop in price, which has gone from the $400-$500 range down to the $100-$200 range. All of a sudden, people can’t get enough.

But HP has decided it isn’t dropping the tablet cold turkey. The company has announced there will be more TouchPad’s to meet this demand. Mark Budgell, a social media strategist on HP’s PR team, writes on the company blog that the company will be “winding down production” in the fourth fiscal quarter, which ends October 31.

“Since we announced the price drop, the number of inquiries about the product and the speed at which it disappeared from inventory has been stunning. I think it’s safe to say we were pleasantly surprised by the response,” he writes.

The company isn’t giving up on tablets in the long run either. The head of the Personal Systems Group, Todd Bradley, told Reuters, “Tablet computing is a segment of the market that’s relevant, absolutely.”

And the company says that it will continue to make improvements to the webOS system.

This lays the foundation for a comeback in the tablet arena if HP wants to make one. And if/when they do, they’ll be armed with a system that’s been tested and approved by the tons of people who have purchased the 1.0 version and could be interested in an upgrade.

And even if they don’t come back with a tablet, the company has made a lot of new customer friends with this decision to not only meet the desires of the bargain-hunting public, but to do so in a way that has actual value. These new TouchPad owners won’t be getting a cast-off, but a device that the company will actually try to make better.

So even if they spent millions to introduce a product they ultimately killed, at least they can say that they may have made some loyal fans in the process.