Best Buy to Sell HP TouchPad for $149, Strings Attached

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Perhaps second time is the charm for Hewlett-Packard’s attempt at a tablet device.

Even after Best Buy’s firesale of HP’s TouchPad tablet this summer, the device is making its way back onto the retailer’s shelves, according to media reports. Best Buy will begin selling the TouchPad online Tuesday and in stores Friday.

In August, HP slashed $100 off the price of the TouchPad just a month after it launched, giving analysts reason to speculate that the computer giant’s first attempt at a tablet device wasn’t going as well as planned.

Best Buy will reportedly sell the 32 GB TouchPad for $149. But as Newfactor Network pointed out, there are strings attached to the new deal – consumers have to buy an HP or Compaq notebook or desktop PC in order to get the tablet at $149. Otherwise, consumers will have to hand over an additional $450 and pay $599.99 for just the TouchPad.

“Best Buy warned that quantities would be limited,” Newsfactor said, adding that HP is not selling the tablet on its own website.

Industry analysts surmise HP is working to get consumers to start buying their PCs again.

"HP is trying to get people to start buying its computers again because everybody stopped," Michael Disabato, managing vice president of network and telecom at Gartner, told Newsfactor.

In yet another TouchPad faux pas, shortly after HP announced it would stop selling TouchPads and began offering the remaining tablets for $99, reports surfaced from a few users claiming they received TouchPads that run Android instead of HP’s webOS software. HP officials said they never authorized the distribution of the Android on the TouchPad, TechZone360 reported.

In an Oct. 4 email to developers, Phil Robb, director of HP’s Open Source Office Program, said the company has started an internal investigation.

“As for the Touchpad units that have been allegedly purchased with a version of Android on them, we have begun an internal investigation on this within HP,” Robb wrote.

He continued by saying that HP currently believes a “person or persons unknown” may have facilitated the delivery of the Android-based units.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin
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Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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