Shoppers Scramble for Discounted HP TouchPads

$99 tablets sold out over the weekend

Following Hewlett-Packard’s announcement last week that it’s ditching its tablet and smartphone efforts, sales of the company’s TouchPad have gone through the roof—thanks to a massively discounted price tag.

In order to get rid of remaining inventory, HP cut the price of its cheapest TouchPad from $499.99 to $99.99, while a full-featured version was reduced from $599.99 to $149.99.

News of the price cuts blew up online, with bloggers publishing rolling lists of which retailers still had the clearance-priced tablets in stock. Demand was so heavy that by Saturday night, all of the TouchPads in the Bay Area were sold out, a Best Buy saleswoman in San Francisco told The Wall Street Journal. And by Sunday, sites including Amazon, Target, Walmart, B&H Foto, and Fry's Electronics had also run out of the tablets.

At the same time, debates raged over whether the TouchPad was worth buying even at the bargain rate. While one CNET commenter called the tablets “utterly worthless now,” a number of people on Twitter took the opposite view, voicing their support for HP’s tablet and smartphone software with a #saveWebOS hashtag campaign, complete with a tribute video.

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