In a surprising move, Hewlett-Packard announced on Thursday that it is discontinuing operations for webOS, essentially killing the platform. HP plans to license it to other manufacturers, but webOS is, for all intents and purposes, dead. Retailers quickly responded to this news, dropping the price of the HP TouchPad WiFi 16GB to $99. HP’s own store was close behind, matching the deal and discounting the 32GB model down to $149.
Social networks quickly lit up with reports of impulse purchases. Within hours, every model of the HP TouchPad was out of stock. And for good reason. In our review, Allen Schmidt noted that he really enjoyed the pleasant experience, multitasking power, and simplicity of webOS. But the $400 plus price tag and glitches–which have since been fixed–just weren’t worth it. A 75% price drop, however, made the TouchPad an amazing deal.
Best Buy is no longer selling the TouchPad, and HP is refunding the cost difference to customers who purchased the tablet at its original retail price. Ironically, the HP TouchPad probably saw better sales after its demise than in the 50 days it was on the market.