The HP TouchPad is dead — killed off after only six weeks on the market and sold off at fire sale prices of one-fifth its original $500 price tag. Or is it? HP says it could revive the TouchPad in the future.
Speaking to Reuters, HP's Personal Systems group head Todd Bradley said the company could "resurrect HP's short-lived TouchPad tablet computer" because "Tablet computing is a segment of the market that's relevant."
With swarms of consumers gobbling up the TouchPad at $99, it seems something remarkable's happened. In an incredible turnaround, HP TouchPad ad revenues suddenly started closing in on the combined revenues generated by all Android tablets, going from 0.14 percent in tablet traffic to a whopping eight percent in 10 days. By comparison, the combined total traffic generated by Android tablets sit at 9.4 percent and the rest is likely hogged up by iPads and iPad 2s.
What does this mean for tablets as a whole? It means that there is market for a cheap tablet that isn't utter crap, but isn't as polished as the iPad. $100 is still a magic psychological number. From the comments around the web, it would appear even $200-300 is an acceptable price point for a tablet that doesn't have an Apple logo on it.
The TouchPad is a solid device, we'll admit that, but as most reviewers have said, its cheaper plastic body, slightly heavier weight, sometimes buggy software and weak library of apps is an entire generation behind the thin and sleek iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9.
Combine the possibility of HP reviving the TouchPad and the company's insistence that it'll still be adding "functionality" via over the air updates for the foreseeable future and the TouchPad might be the greatest tablet that ever died but didn't die.
The TouchPad just won't die. Who knows, maybe HP might revive that rumored 7-inch TouchPad Go. Long live the TouchPad!