At $99, HP’s Touchpad finally ignites sales

As part of a last-ditch effort to move stacks of inventory, HP’s flagship tablet is now available for $99, but it’s probably too little too late.

The 16 GB version of the webOS-powered device was slashed to the new price point at Best Buy. Thanks to this move, the Touchpad has reportedly sold out at many locations around the country.

But this looks to be more like an effort to clear out the massive stock of unsold product rather than an opportunity to breathe new life into the fledgling tablet.

In a recent conference call, HP CEO Leo Apotheker said, “Our WebOS devices have not gained enough traction in the marketplace with consumers,” as quoted by USA Today.

Despite a highly aggressive advertising campaign and recent price cuts, HP was unable to generate interest for the Touchpad. Consumers who were already confused enough with the choice between Android and iPad just didn’t understand the point of webOS.

It looks like the company will now abandon the nascent operating system in new tablet and smartphone devices.

However, “We’re looking at all business models, from licensing to any other possibility for webOS,” said Apotheker.

HP received webOS when it acquired once-dominant mobile company Palm. The software was one of the driving forces behind HP’s purchase, but it clearly hasn’t worked out as well as the company had hoped.

Nevertheless, perhaps there is a future for webOS in other segments of the market. Only time will tell.