Updated: HP TouchPad Reduced to $99 and $149 (16GB & 32GB)by Anand Lal Shimpi on August 20, 2011 1:37 PM EST
If you haven't heard by now, HP is significantly reducing the price of the WiFi TouchPad in order to clear all inventories of the tablet. The 16GB WiFi TouchPad will sell for $99, while the 32GB version will be reduced to $149.
The price reduction is supposed to go into effect tomorrow, however a number of etailers jumped the gun yesterday. At this point I don't believe there is a way to order a TouchPad online at either of those prices - nearly all of the online sources that listed the reduced prices are now out of stock.
If you missed the opportunity yesterday, there's always the brick and mortar stores as soon as they open tomorrow.
As we've already reported, HP will cease all webOS device operations by Q4 2011. The TouchPad and Veer won't be made anymore and the Pre 3 has been canceled entirely. HP hasn't announced what it's going to do with webOS, although at this point we're hearing the rights to the OS aren't up for sale.
Given the lack of support going forward, why even consider a $99 TouchPad? The tablet does work reasonably well as an email/browser client, and it's likely that we'll continue to see 3rd party apps developed for it. The big hope is that the homebrew community will keep at it and perhaps someone will come along and actually do something with webOS one of these days. There's also the option that someone will eventually port Android 3.x to it. If that happens, you'd have a high end Honeycomb tablet for $99. Admittedly porting Android 3.x to the TouchPad could take a while.
At $99 I feel like the TouchPad is a good buy if you're fine with taking a risk on a platform that has no guaranteed support going forward. In other words, if you can part with the money and forget about it, it's not a bad idea.
Update: BestBuy in the US isn't discounting the TouchPad in stores. For everyone who bought one at the higher price, BestBuy isn't matching prices but it has extended the return window to 60-days.
Update 2: BestBuy has reversed its decision and will be discounting the TouchPad in stores.