HP TouchPad firesale returns via eBay this Sunday

Just when we thought the $99 Hewlett-Packard TouchPad was gone forever, the tablet that refuses to die is coming back for one last sale, according to online reports. A limited quantity of refurbished TouchPads will reportedly go on sale at HP’s eBay Store starting at 6 p.m. Central Time (7 p.m. Eastern) on Sunday, December 11.

Pricing will be the same as the fire sale in August — the 16GBrefurbished TouchPad will sell for $99 and the32GB version will sell for $149. There will also be a $79 accessorypack for sale that includes a case, charging dock and wirelesskeyboard, according to an HP internal memo obtained by TechCrunch.

The sale, while publicly available on eBay, wasn’t supposed to beannounced to the public until Monday, according to the HP memo. Thecompany was hoping to keep the sale a secret for as long as possible toallow company employees first dibs on buying the refurbishedwebOS-based tablets. I have reached out to HP to confirm TechCrunch’sreport and will update this post should the company reply.

HP will only be accepting PayPalpayments for the TouchPads on Sunday, according to the internal memo,and all sales will be final. There will also be a limit of twoTouchPads per customer. Each refurbished TouchPad will also come with a90-day warranty. Refurbished devices are typically defective unitsreturned by customers that the manufacturer restores to “almost new”condition and then resells at a discounted price.

HP’s Zombie Legacy
HP’s webOS-based TouchPad was officially discontinued in August lessthan two months after launching the tablet in the U.S. in early July.HP quickly sold off most its remaining stock in August at the fire salepricing of $99 (16GB) and $149 (32GB). Many retailers nationwidefollowed suit and matched HP’s sale price to unload their TouchPadinventory.

HP soon promised to hold another TouchPad fire sale to meet”unfulfilled demand,” but that never happened. Instead, TouchPads havereappeared now and again as special offers from HPBest Buy and Walmartas part of an HP laptop promotion.

HP’s TouchPad is gaining a reputation as the tablet that refuses to die sinceit seems to pop up in yet another final sale every few weeks. Butconsidering the company is down to selling just refurbished units thistime, Sunday’s reported eBay sale may finally be the end of HP’s failedtablet.

One question remaining from HP’s TouchPad fiasco is what its futureplans are for webOS. HP acquired the mobile operating system when it bought Palm in 2010. Most criticscurrently expect webOS to end up as a software platform for HP printers.

While HP hasn’t officially announced the latest TouchPad sale yet, youmight want to keep your eye on HP’s eBay Store on Sunday just in case.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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