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New HP TouchPad Sale Leaked

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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An internal memo reveals HP is to hold another sale of refurbished TouchPads this weekend

HP will hold another fire sale of TouchPads this weekend, with 16GB and 32GB models up for grabs for just $99 (£63) and $149 (£95) respectively.

The news of the sale, which will take place on HP’s eBay store, was revealed in a leaked internal memo.

Abandoned Platform

There will be an unspecified quantity of TouchPads for sale and a limit of two per customer. However the Tablets are refurbished rather than new and come with just a 90 day warrantee. An accessory bundle comprising a case, charging dock and wireless keyboard will also be available for $79 (£51).

The memo was meant to give HP employees advance warning of the sale before it was announced to the general public and read, “In an effort to give HP employees first chance at a very limited supply of refurbished TouchPads, there will be a short delay between when the product is posted live for sale on eBay and when the general public is notified of the sale.”

The TouchPad was powered by WebOS, which HP acquired when it bought Palm in 2010 for £727m. The 9.7 inch device weighed in at 740g and boasted a 1.2GHz processor, but despite a price cut in the US, it struggled to make an impact in a tablet market dominated by iPad and Android devices.

Despite making ambitious hardware plans for the platform, HP announced in August that WebOS was to be abandoned and the TouchPad discontinued. UK retailers swiftly slashed their prices to just £89 while HP promised that anyone who purchased the tablet before its decision, would receive a partial refund.

The future of WebOS remains shrouded in mystery as HP decides its fate. Potential suitors such as Oracle and Amazon have been rumoured to be interested in purchasing the software, while one analyst has urged Facebook to buy it so that it can be used as a content platform.

However the obituaries for the TouchPad may prove to be premature if one community project is able to achieve its goal of being able to run Android Gingerbread on the device.