After Hewlett Packard’s announcement about the company getting out of the webOS based Smart Phone and Tablet business, Harvey Norman, the exclusive retailer for the HP TouchPad in Australia, had the device on sale for $98 & $148 (16GB and 32GB models respectively).
This deeply discounted sale started at 2PM on Monday, 22nd of August 2011. Within an hour, Harvey Norman sold all 6000 units they had in stock nationwide!
Here are some of my thoughts on this sale:
1. The price of $98 (or $148) was a real bargain! In the US and Canada the devices were cleared out for the same price. But one has to remember that the Australian price includes tax while the US and Canadian prices exclude tax.
2. Just think about it, a 16GB SD card sells for around $50, a simple 10 inch LCD picture frame could easily cost $80. The TouchPad could certainly do a lot more things than these devices and it was sold for just $98!
3. It is interesting to note that HP will be honoring all warranty claims for the TouchPad.
4. When the Optus My Tab was sold for $99 many people considered it a bargain. The HP TouchPad is certainly bigger and better than the My Tab in many aspects. The My Tab was an entry level tablet.
5. One of the main complaints that I saw on Internet was that there aren’t too many apps for the webOS platform. I do not think this is a big issue for an average budget user who is mainly interested in doing basic activities such as web browsing, social networking and watching movies etc.
6. The fact that Harvey Norman ran out of stock within the first hour indicates, there is a real demand for below $200 tablet devices. I believe a well built tablet, priced in the $200 price range would provide real competition for the iPad.
How to secure a HP tablet?
1. Check back with your local Harvey Norman store for any returns. Some people might have bought more than one unit out of initial excitement and may return them for a refund.
2. Wait for a week or two and many of these units might become available for sale on classified sites such as GumTree and CraigsList without any inflation in price.
Finally, I do not believe it is worth paying a higher price to secure this unit from someone else whose main purpose is to make some quick money.