HP is gearing up to sell refurbished TouchPads at prices that have previously triggered the online equivalent of a Wal-Mart Black Friday scrum.
Starting at 6 p.m. CDT, Sunday, HP will offer the 16GB TouchPad for $US99 ($A96) and the 32 GB TouchPad for $149 through its new HP eBay Store. However, only HP employees will be able to take advantage of the deal at that time, and the general public will have to wait until Monday morning, according to a purported internal HP memo published Wednesday by TechCrunch.
"In an effort to give HP employees first chance at a very limited supply of refurbished TouchPads, there will be a short delay between when the product is posted live for sale on eBay and when the general public is notified of the sale," reads the memo.
In the memo, HP emphasises that the TouchPad deal will only be available through the HP eBay store, and not through any of HP's other online storefronts. Customers must use PayPal, and HP is limiting the sale to two TouchPads per person. HP also won't be accepting returns unless the product is defective, and the TouchPads come with just a 90-day warranty.
Despite the conditions, the forthcoming sale is likely to draw a flood of bargain hungry tablet fans. HP launched a TouchPad fire sale for employees in late September that reportedly met with such an enthusiastic response that it took down the company's internal ecommerce site.
Meanwhile, the TouchPad continues to occupy the attention of prospective tablet buyers despite having been axed back in August after less than seven weeks on the market. According to Google Adwords' keyword tool, the term "TouchPad fire sale" gets 2,900 global searches and 1,600 local searches per month.
HP's decision to kill off the TouchPad was surprising, but was a bit overshadowed by HP's announcement that it would look to spin off or sale its Personal Systems Group. HP in October shut down its webOS hardware unit and decided to keep PSG. The company is expected to make a decision soon on the future of its webOS software unit, and the approximately 600 employees that are part of it.