Earlier this week Best Buy was complaining to HP about the “the mountain[s] of unsold TouchPads [were] taking up too much space in its stores and warehouses” (AllThingsD) so it was no surprise when HP announces they were discontinuing the product after only six weeks on the market. The products which went on sale for prices as low as a 16GB model (dropping in price from $399 to $99) and the 32GB model (dropping from $499 to $145) caused major problems with HP’s website as demand skyrocketed for the product. The site simply “couldn’t handle the load [with] the masses” (ZD Net) and suffered a cart glitch affecting thousands of interested buyers as well as the unfortunate HP call center representatives who worked on Sunday afternoon.
Some experts are claiming that the TouchPad wasn’t even given much of a chance in the market. HP executives would disagree and stand by their decision to cancel WebOS, pointing out the “grumbling consumers, commenting all over cyberspace, [and inability to] compete against Apple with a product in the same price range.” (Celeste Altus at PRNewser) HP’s retail partners are another story. CNET reports stores such as Best Buy and Amazon will now be wary working with one of technology’s top dogs.
Partners were not the only affected party. Consumers were infuriated to find out their $99 steal could not be processed. Twitter feeds and Facebook posts were chockfull of disgruntled customers whose orders over the weekend were canceled. One company who oversold the tablet and is suffering bad word of mouth from consumers is Barnes and Noble. The Twitter world has been bad- mouthing B&N since the weekend saying things such as “Barnes and Noble did a money grab and canceled my TouchPad order.”
Rotman Epps said “There’s absolutely room for three operating systems out there,” “The question was whether there was room for a fourth or a fifth. HP just answered that question.” Indeed.