Jenn: The TouchPad firesale is part of a larger move afoot at HP to divest itself of its entire PC business, a segment it got into in a big way with the acquisition of Compaq, one of the early leaders in the PC space. Along with announcing that it plans to exit the PC business, HP also announced the $10 billion acquisition of Autonomy, a maker of information management software. Pundits are saying HP plans to reinvent itself more along the lines of an IBM by providing software and consulting services, not commodity hardware. That said, the $99 TouchPads sold during this firesale were undoubtedly quite a bargain for those lucky buyers!
As to why HP decided to exit the PC business (not just the tablet marketplace), there has been some good comments from a few bloggers - you might do a search for 'HP exit PC business' or something similar to that.
I think the general sense is that the exit is due to a general decision to NOT participate in the hardware side of the business. This was driven by the HP's new president and his vision. Time will tell if this is a good decision or not. As a long time user of HP (and Compaq) PCs, I will miss them!
It is unclear why HP has ultimately decided to get out of the tablet market. It could be that the Galaxy Tab, iPad, and other emerging competitors have made HP feel that they were "late to the gate".
One benefit of the exit by HP is that the tablets made are now on sale for the lowest prices seen in the tablet world. The last price listed was $99. This makes the unit a very good, albiet unsupported, device for those who are wanting to experience the tablet life.
I myself... I have an Android phone, and my laptop. I am happy as is ;)
From the sounds of this article - at least from my admittedly limited knowledge of electronics - it sounds like HP's tablet could be a competitor in the market, especially depending on what the price point was. If it was on the lower end, it would have been a great choice for someone who wants the technology, but can't afford the iPad or Samsung Galaxy. Any further word on why HP decided to scrap it?
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