HP Offers Partial Refund On TouchPad Tablets

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Any TouchPads bought before HP pulled the plug on the webOS device qualify for a discount

Anyone in the UK who purchased a full-price HP TouchPad tablet or Pre 3 smartphone before 23 August 2011 can claim a partial refund, the company has said.

HP put up a notice on its official site, listing the refunds available for different models of its webOS devices, with customers offered the difference between what they paid for the device and the current price tag: £89 (16GB TouchPad), £115 (32GB TouchPad), £159 (64GB TouchPad), and £69 (Pre 3).

Anyone who activated or registered their device within their webOS account before 23 August can claim back the difference using a form on the HP website. Claimants will need the product’s serial number, as well as a scanned invoice and their personal data to hand.

HP stops webOS development

In a shock announcement last month, HP revealed that it was pulling the plug on further webOS development – ceasing support for its relatively new tablets and smartphones. The news followed anaemic initial sales of the webOS-based TouchPad, which launched in the UK in July.

After HP pulled the plug, Dixons Group, the company that owns Currys and PC World, slashed the price of the 16GB TouchPad to just £89 – a drastic reduction from the original UK retail price of £399. The 32GB version was also reduced from £479 to £115, resulting in a surge of consumer interest, and stocks selling out almost instantly.

At the end of August, HP announced it was making a final production run of its webOS-based TouchPad, in response to massive demand for the tablet. 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.

Reports emerged at the end of last week that the PC World website was showing available stock for the 32GB TouchPad priced at £249.99, with the wireless charging dock and case thrown in. While being a significant discount from the original price, this is still a far cry from the rock-bottom prices touted a couple of weeks ago.

A future for the TouchPad?

Meanwhile, Android developers have been rushing to put the Google operating system on the TouchPad, to prevent the hardware from becoming obsolete. One site, Hack N Mod, even offered $1,500 to anyone who succeeded in the task.

The TouchPad has a 9.7-inch multi-touch display with 1024×768 screen resolution and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel webcam for video chats. It features a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, which promises full multi-tasking, and comes with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage.

Last week, two leaked internal HP memos revealed that the company is planning to divide its webOS arm into two separate units. The webOS software assets will find their way into the arms of its Office of Strategy and Technology, while its hardware interests will continue as part of the Personal Systems Group, which is likely to be spun off into its own entity under the terms of the company’s new strategy.

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