HP: No Cut-Price TouchPads For UK Consumers


Brits hoping for a low-cost TouchPad will be disappointed. HP says the offer was for US customers only

HP’s final batch of low-cost TouchPad tablets will not make it onto UK shelves, the company has confirmed.

HP announced yesterday that it was making a final production run of its webOS-based TouchPad, in response to massive demand for the tablet. This is despite CEO Leo Apotheker’s revealation earlier this month that HP is shutting down its webOS hardware division.

“Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand,” Mark Budgell, an HP spokesman, wrote in a corporate blog post. “We don’t know exactly when these units will be available or how many we’ll get, and we can’t promise we’ll have enough for everyone.”

However, Edelman – the PR agency that deals with the HP account in the UK – told gadget blog Mobot that the blog post was specific to the US.

webOS discontinued in Europe

“We are pleased by the response to webOS and look forward to customer feedback so we can further enhance the platform,” said HP in a statement. “A limited quantity of TouchPads will be available in the coming weeks in North America only. In EMEA we are discontinuing the webOS hardware operations and will not offer any additional products beyond what might be currently available in selective outlets.”

The news will come as a disappointment to all those Brits who missed out on £89 TouchPads from Currys and PC World. Stocks of the device sold out in hours last week, after Dixons Group announced the massive price slash.

The tablets will be available in the US sometime over the next few weeks, according to Budgell, although he declined to offer any information on an exact release date or pricing. HP still intends to shut down development and production of webOS devices, which include the company’s Pre smartphone line in addition to the TouchPad.

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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