By Ian Sherr
The TouchPad is dead. Long live the TouchPad.
Hewlett-Packard Co. said it will temporarily resume manufacturing of its ill-fated tablet computer just 11 days after killing its iPad rival as part of a sweeping corporate overhaul.
The resurrection of the TouchPad follows a spike in demand after H-P, desperate to clear out unsold inventory that had piled up at retailers, slashed the price of the low-end model from $399 to $99.
The decision to discontinue the TouchPad came less than two months after the tablet first went on sale in July, but made little traction against Apple Inc.’s iPad despite an earlier 20% price drop. H-P executives said sales were too weak to justify continued investment.
H-P didn’t say what it would charge for the new batch of TouchPads, but cautioned potential buyers there might not be enough to go around.
“We don’t know exactly when these units will be available or how many we’ll get,” H-P spokesman Mark Budgell wrote on a company blog. “We can’t promise we’ll have enough for everyone.” The company said it is pleased by the response it has gotten so far.
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(Published Aug. 31 2011 in The Wall Street Journal.)