With HP having announced on Thursday that it is pulling the plug on its WebOS line of devices - which includes the HP Veer 4G, the HP Touchpad tablet and the not-yet-released HP Pre 3 smartphone -, it is evident that the tablet computer market now consists chiefly of the Apple iPad 2, the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, and some Android models.
The sales of the HP TouchPad, which was being touted as an iPad challenger, were apparently doomed right from the outset --- the cost of the tablet was slashed on the HP website within one month of its availability; and, around the same time, bricks and mortar retailers too began offering a discount of up to $200 on the tablet’s $599 list price!
While the TouchPad could barely outlast Microsoft’s luckless Kin line of handsets - which were available on the store shelves for just 49 days last year before being discontinued – in the US, the device’s challenge to the iPad was even shorter in the UK, where it hit the stores on July 15.
And, its run in Australia – where it was launched on Monday – was apparently the shortest ever tenure for a consumer electronic product!
HP’s decision to discontinue the TouchPad has led Harvey Norman – the exclusive retailer of TouchPad in Australia – to announce refunds to the buyers of the tablet. However, for the British customers, who shelled out up to £399 for the device, there is no such announcement of any refund.