Currys And PC World To Sell TouchPads For £89

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Dixons Group is slashing the price of HP’s TouchPad tablet, and may give refunds to those who paid full price

Dixons Group, the company that owns Currys and PC World, has become the first UK retail chain to slash the price of HP’s webOS-based TouchPad tablet to less than £100.

At around 4pm this afternoon Mark Webb, an internal employee at Dixons, tweeted: “Currys & PC World stores: HP Touchpad SALE CONFIRMED FROM TUESDAY AM.”

According to Webb, the 16GB TouchPad will sell for just £89, while the more substantial 32GB version will be available for £115. This is a drastic reduction from the original UK retail prices of £399 and £479 respectively. Stock will of course be limited – as HP has canned future development of its mobile devices.

In a subsequent tweet, Webb said that the company would be organising refunds for those people who paid full price for the device.

Massive price cuts

The news follows similarly massive price cuts in the US, where Best Buy has slashed the cost of the 16GB TouchPad to $99 (£60) and $149 (£90) for its 16GB and 32GB versions, after HP confirmed last week that it was pulling the plug on further webOS development. This follows earlier price cuts just six weeks after the arrival of the TouchPad, as a result of weak sales.

HP’s senior vice president Stephen DeWitt told Bloomberg that the company will continue to stand by webOS, and is considering partnerships and licensing deals with manufacturers that may use the software in their devices. “The webOS is not dead,” he said. “We’re going to continue to evolve it, update and support it.”

However, resellers are desperate to get shot of their TouchPad tablets, with many of them holding large stocks of what is effectively a dead product.

The decision to drop the TouchPad from its line up could cost HP up to $103 million (£62m), according to BGR, which cites an earnings call where the company stated it would charge five cents per share to absorb the cost of the written-off stock.

As well as shutting down the webOS hardware division, CEO Leo Apotheker is also considering the divestiture of HP’s personal computer businesses. Meanwhile, the company’s acquisition of British software firm Autonomy indicates a redirection towards cloud and software services.

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