HP has confirmed through a blog posting by Mark Budgell, HP’s PR manager, that one final run of the WebOS TouchPad tablets is going to happen. Despite the fact that HP has officially discontinued the product, the fire sale prices have created a frenzy to lay hands on one of these units at $99.
According to Budgell, the manufacturing run is to meet unfulfilled demand for the TouchPad. It is currently unknown when exactly these units will arrive, how many they will have, and what they are going to cost. Sources say that the numbers will largely depend on how much of a parts inventory is left over from the last run. According to our sources there are simply a lot of parts that suppliers are left holding, but it is unlikely that HP will want to invest much in making new parts just to lose money on selling the TouchPads; but rumors suggest that there are enough parts to build as many as 100,000 7-inch TouchPads, which is the model that has not yet been released.
Many buying the HP WebOS TouchPad are very interested in the early attempts to get Android up and running on the TouchPad. Early efforts by two groups have already yielded results that could lead to a release of the Android OS that would replace the WebOS currently on the units. It is still too early to say how viable this option really is, but many believe that it is a totally achievable goal. It is unknown what users would have to do or pay to get Android for their TouchPad.
It does seem that HP sees the potential of this market, and with Samsung sniffing around the possibility of buying or licensing the WebOS from HP, we think the WebOS might not be dead yet, which also could be a good thing for TouchPad owners. Hard to say if it is worth taking a chance on, but for $99 you really can’t go wrong; as the current unit is still very usable.