Best Buy wants HP to take back 200,000 unsold TouchPads

By on August 17, 2011, 9:44 AM

Things are not looking too hot for the HP TouchPad right now as apparently not even the recent price cuts are helping retailers move more units off store shelves. According to a report on AllThingsD, Best Buy has sold just 25,000 units -- less than 10 percent of its inventory -- and with surplus stock of over 200,000 the company is now asking HP to take back the unsold tablets.

HP is reportedly pleading with Best Buy to be patient and is sending a senior executive over to Minneapolis soon to meet Best Buy executives. That could mean we'll see further discounts in the coming weeks or perhaps some bundle deals with HP laptops as the back-to-school buying season revs up.

Analyst Rich Doherty of the Envisioneering Group says sales are also poor at Walmart, Microcenter and Fry's. The report comes just hours ahead of HP's quarterly earnings call today, where many expect the company to keep TouchPad numbers under wraps, or if they do share some figures it will probably reflect "channel sales" (the number of tablets shipped to retailers) rather than actual "sell through" numbers.

HP's first foray into tablets has seen a lukewarm reception, with initial reviews pointing to the TouchPad's slow responsiveness and limited app catalog. WebOS is the key piece of the HP's $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm last year and is supposed to be a big part HP's future -- with plans to put it on everything from laptops to printers.

The software itself, while noticeable buggy, does show promise, but HP dropped the ball on the hardware side -- much like Palm did with the original Pre. Now the company is being forced to take some drastic measures to get WebOS and its TouchPad tablet off the ground. Earlier this month, HP already announced a $100 discount on the TouchPad, bringing the price down to $400 for the 16GB version and $500 for the 32GB version.




User Comments: 31

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Jibberish18 said:

I was thinking, maybe HP should take the hit and drop the price of the Touchpad another $100 to get them off the shelves and get people interested in the next version of the Touchpad BUT then again people look at things like that and might think that the Touchpad is a subpar player. Still, it MIGHT be a good way to get it into people's hands. I don't know.

Sad really. Everyone is stuck on the Android bus.

I'd like to add, I also think that HP should continue optimizing the HELL out of WebOS, as I still don't think it's the hardware but the software at play here.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Jibberish18 said:

I was thinking, maybe HP should take the hit and drop the price of the Touchpad another $100 to get them off the shelves and get people interested in the next version of the Touchpad BUT then again people look at things like that and might think that the Touchpad is a subpar player. Still, it MIGHT be a good way to get it into people's hands. I don't know.

Sad really. Everyone is stuck on the Android bus.

I'd like to add, I also think that HP should continue optimizing the HELL out of WebOS, as I still don't think it's the hardware but the software at play here.

I just dont know about WebOS. I've had the pleasure of playing around with andriod on the PC in a virtual machine.. can you do this with WebOS?

Guest said:

I'm sure you could with the developers SDK. You can get it here. https://developer.palm.com/

Scshadow said:

Jibberish18 said:

Sad really. Everyone is stuck on the Android bus.

And you blame people liking android for Web OS not catching on? HP is crap. For years people have been screwed by poor quality of HP products. But HP discounts and they sell hardware much cheaper then their competitors and people tell themselves such a large brand as HP can't have bad quality. I was lucky enough to have the one HP I bought years ago to fail twice within a month allowing me to take that crap back to the store for first a replacement and then a refund.

So they suck ass and now they want to introduce their own OS? It doesn't make sense. They have no rep to the techie crowd that would've been their early adopters. I guess they save in software licensing but android has already shown itself as the favorable OS. Even iOS has the bleakest outlook since its first introduction. People like the openness of android. Beyond that, app developers aren't looking to develop yet another platform. There just simply isn't enough room in the market for another platform. Web OS was damned to fail.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Best Buy bought them... was it within their 30 day return window?

Jibberish18 said:

scshadow said:

Jibberish18 said:

Sad really. Everyone is stuck on the Android bus.

And you blame people liking android for Web OS not catching on? HP is crap. For years people have been screwed by poor quality of HP products. But HP discounts and they sell hardware much cheaper then their competitors and people tell themselves such a large brand as HP can't have bad quality. I was lucky enough to have the one HP I bought years ago to fail twice within a month allowing me to take that crap back to the store for first a replacement and then a refund.

So they suck ass and now they want to introduce their own OS? It doesn't make sense. They have no rep to the techie crowd that would've been their early adopters. I guess they save in software licensing but android has already shown itself as the favorable OS. Even iOS has the bleakest outlook since its first introduction. People like the openness of android. Beyond that, app developers aren't looking to develop yet another platform. There just simply isn't enough room in the market for another platform. Web OS was damned to fail.

You're talking about something completely different. You're talking about HP's quality which has nothing to do with WebOS because PALM was bought out by HP a very short while ago. 2nd, iOS has a bleak look? Really? That's why people bought it in waves? 3rd, App developers are looking to develop on any platform that they can make money on. Doesn't matter what it is and at the moment, that would be either iOS or Android because they're the two most popular but not necessarily the best, whatever "best" may constitute. Their is PLENTY of room for competition. Palm never caught on for a number of reasons. When I mention Android, I don't do it because it is currently on a high speed train that can't be stopped, whether it's great or not. It's what you have to compare everything too now.

Guest said:

I guess everyone's experience is different, but my experience with HP has been positive.

I currently have one HP desktop--4 years old, 2 laptops, and 3 printers.

I had a problem with scanning on my all-in-one. HP replaced the AIO, no questions.

My son-in-law and two grandkids all have HP laptops. The only problem was my grandson inadvertently throwing his backpack on the couch with the laptop open--cracked screen.

Luckily when it was bought they bought the accidental damage protection, and HP fixed it.

I also have a 10 year old Dell desktop that is still working ( I had to replace the hard drive after 5 years).

I guess what I'm saying is that I haven't had any quality problems with the many HP devices I have purchased.

I also have an 27-inch IMac. After 3 months it died. Apple replaced it.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

There was a similar report on Fudzilla for sales in Europe. It appears that everyone except for Apple is having a hard time moving tablets.

According to channel analyst Context, non-Apple tablet sales were slow across the board, in all parts of Europe, regardless of the OS. HP managed to move about 15,000 TouchPads in Europe last month, while Acer and Asus managed to ship just 8,000 and 7,000 tablets. Apple apparently managed to sell about 160,000 iPads in the same timeframe. To make matters worse, shipments in the first week of August actually slowed down.

[link]

howzz1854 said:

it seems everything that HP has touched all have the tendency to turn into shyt. ie. compaq, palm.

it's no wonder that their customers don't come back for another round. they've made a pretty poor reputation for themselves.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I used WebOS for a long time, prior to the HP buyout, and I loved it. I can imagine that designing a tablet around it was difficult, but I am disappointed that HP felt the need to rush things and put out an inferior product. This is one helluva SNAFU for HP.

howzz1854 said:

Guest said:

I guess everyone's experience is different, but my experience with HP has been positive.

I currently have one HP desktop--4 years old, 2 laptops, and 3 printers.

I had a problem with scanning on my all-in-one. HP replaced the AIO, no questions.

My son-in-law and two grandkids all have HP laptops. The only problem was my grandson inadvertently throwing his backpack on the couch with the laptop open--cracked screen.

Luckily when it was bought they bought the accidental damage protection, and HP fixed it.

I also have a 10 year old Dell desktop that is still working ( I had to replace the hard drive after 5 years).

I guess what I'm saying is that I haven't had any quality problems with the many HP devices I have purchased.

I also have an 27-inch IMac. After 3 months it died. Apple replaced it.

i partially agree with you. i used to have a LOT of HP products too, that included desktop and laptops. it definitely used to be a good company that made good products back in the good ol days. but recent years, their products have turned into turd, things fail easily, poor quality, and worst of all their customer service has gone down the drain. and if you ever have a chance to deal with their sales people on the phone, they'll do everything they can to suck you dry. things don't get better even when you attempt to bring up the issues to their corporate headquarters, they have the tendency to tell you to piss off. i have a friend who also works at the HP hardware division, he wouldn't buy anything that's HP made, and poor customer treatment is a well known unspoken fact within their company.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I wonder what the restocking fee is on returning 200,000 tablets.

Jibberish18 said:

milwaukeemike said:

I wonder what the restocking fee is on returning 200,000 tablets.

Ba Doom TISH

1977TA said:

Man that sucks for HP, whether you like them or not, more competition in the tablet market is good for the consumer.

I wonder what Best Buy/HP contract states. From my view, they invested in a product, it didn't pay off like they thought it would and now want a refund???? That ain't right!

Guest said:

Thats cause tablets Are overpriced an should be selling around the $200 mark

Zecias said:

howzz1854 said:

Guest said:

I guess everyone's experience is different, but my experience with HP has been positive.

I currently have one HP desktop--4 years old, 2 laptops, and 3 printers.

I had a problem with scanning on my all-in-one. HP replaced the AIO, no questions.

My son-in-law and two grandkids all have HP laptops. The only problem was my grandson inadvertently throwing his backpack on the couch with the laptop open--cracked screen.

Luckily when it was bought they bought the accidental damage protection, and HP fixed it.

I also have a 10 year old Dell desktop that is still working ( I had to replace the hard drive after 5 years).

I guess what I'm saying is that I haven't had any quality problems with the many HP devices I have purchased.

I also have an 27-inch IMac. After 3 months it died. Apple replaced it.

i partially agree with you. i used to have a LOT of HP products too, that included desktop and laptops. it definitely used to be a good company that made good products back in the good ol days. but recent years, their products have turned into turd, things fail easily, poor quality, and worst of all their customer service has gone down the drain. and if you ever have a chance to deal with their sales people on the phone, they'll do everything they can to suck you dry. things don't get better even when you attempt to bring up the issues to their corporate headquarters, they have the tendency to tell you to piss off. i have a friend who also works at the HP hardware division, he wouldn't buy anything that's HP made, and poor customer treatment is a well known unspoken fact within their company.

I don't buy HP because it is uncanny how the computers always die a few months after the warranty expires.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

howzz1854 said:

it seems everything that HP has touched all have the tendency to turn into shyt. ie. compaq, palm.

Hey! Don't know about Palm but Compaq they made better! Before HP took them over I bought a Compaq PC, broke 4 times in 6 months! just motherboard failures and a Hard Drive Failure, I then went to a different shop and got another Compaq PC and it failed on me 3 times in 4 months so I simply gave up and bought a Mesh computer

But a few guys at work have bought cheap Compaq Laptops recently and they haven't failed yet!

Guest said:

I hope Best Buy is an HP Rewards Silver member!

If not, they're going to be looking at a 25% re-stocking fee.

Guest said:

Best Buy wanting HP to take back the tablets seems to me that they feel they'll get more money from HP than from a drastically reduced price, just to get it sold.

Which tells me that HP is either trying to make a lot of profit per device (unlikely), or margins are low enough on both HP's and Best Buy's end that it's impossible to get them sold at those prices. Either way, Best Buy as a retailer isn't in a particularly good situation or economy, and if they're going to take a loss, they might as well have it shared with the ****** who sold them something unsalable.

As for HP, well... they're definitely feeling the effects of Apple dominating the tablet supply chain, if costs to manufacture a tablet are high enough to prevent a lower sale price. And I don't think they could afford to burn cash like Microsoft did for the Xbox just to buy into the market.

I think most of the tablet manufacturers forgot that they still need to make a good product, rather than jump on the tablet bandwagon. You either need to compete on price, fluid functionality/ease of use, and ecosystem: pick two. HP TouchPads with webOS could only compete on price, and even then, if you're already willing to spend a several hundred dollars on something, what's another hundred more for something you know lots of people already use and enjoy (despite its caveats)? You know you get a tested, solid device and a mature ecosystem.

It's a very tough time in the industry.

DSP8000 DSP8000 said:

Oh no !!! Where should I start. Having worked as a tech for the last 14 years I did exclusive dealing with HP/Compaq products on a daily basis for about 4 years. I assure you of one thing, HP sucks big time !!! Desktops, don't even go there, laptops, even more. Even after you have purchased HP product the product that you just purchased it is NOT yours after all. Scenario1: HP desktop, just purchased, created recovery disks, used it for (fingers crossed) 2 years, need for a re-install, run F11, does not work, OK, luckily you were smart, you have the recovery disks (remember?) boot from them, screen pops up, "this set of recovery disks it is not for this machine, contact HP support to obtain a new set of disks" WTF? you did create them on the VERY SAME machine. Aha, HP support: yeah it looks like you will need to send the machine to us so we can "re-tattoo" the mainboard, hmmm, that will be $100.00 charge. OMG !!! Numerous intermittent issues with mainboards, poor quality builds, and what not. Do your self a favor, buy Asus, Toshiba. HP F4#L !!!

Guest said:

HP is terrible relatively speaking.

There are just better choices available.

There Printers are OK but support in general is a nightmare.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

The reason these thing's aren't selling is because the tablet market is flooded, and they are overpriced. Your better off getting a netbook for $400 than a tablet.

Guest said:

I once bought an HP tablet. It was one of those tx2 things. It lasted exactly one month past its warranty. That's it. Now it blue screens whenever you turn it on. HP lost me as a customer for a long time.

Guest said:

The whole tablet market is over priced not surprised these aren't selling. Anything over $200 is too much.

Guest said:

Just have HP wipe the disk and load them with Android. People will buy them then.

Does HP really want to sell them or just push another OS that nobody wants to use?

Guest said:

i also have an HP latop in the bathroom , and 5 desktop on the garage, oh in 2 in the shower, and 3 ipads under the bed.....

aj_the_kidd said:

1977TA said:

Man that sucks for HP, whether you like them or not, more competition in the tablet market is good for the consumer.

Agreed, i am a fan of Android and can appreciate iOS, but i would have liked to have seen WebOS do better their first go round. The Galaxy Tab 7" wasnt exactly great so I'm not writing WebOS on tablets off just yet, well until Windows start getting serious then its pretty much game over

Guest said:

Well, I am not a techie, but have always had a solid array of computers, back to my first - the Apple IIe. In the last 12 years, I have owned 4 HP computers, 2 desktops two laptops. I have also had an Acer desktop and one of each made by Dell. Prior to that, we had a number of Compaqs. Compaqs were always shite. The acer was okay, but I have never had any issues at all with any HP product, aside from the sometimes cumbersome pre loaded software. I have had 2 HP printers now as well, and two from other mfrs which both crapped out in under 2 years. All of our neighbors now use HP as well, except one fellow whose company bought him a Toshiba, which has worked well also. In my experience, with all consumer electronics, its a crapshoot. Including Apple, from whom I have two phones, 3 kids Itouches, and for a brief time an Imac, which from day one never worked worth a crap at all - and after horrendous attempts to resolve the issues, I'll never buy an imac again...every brand has its haters and fanboys - form your own opinion...

aj_the_kidd said:

Guest said:

Well, I am not a techie, but have always had a solid array of computers, back to my first - the Apple IIe. In the last 12 years, I have owned 4 HP computers, 2 desktops two laptops. I have also had an Acer desktop and one of each made by Dell. Prior to that, we had a number of Compaqs. Compaqs were always shite. The acer was okay, but I have never had any issues at all with any HP product, aside from the sometimes cumbersome pre loaded software. I have had 2 HP printers now as well, and two from other mfrs which both crapped out in under 2 years. All of our neighbors now use HP as well, except one fellow whose company bought him a Toshiba, which has worked well also. In my experience, with all consumer electronics, its a crapshoot. Including Apple, from whom I have two phones, 3 kids Itouches, and for a brief time an Imac, which from day one never worked worth a crap at all - and after horrendous attempts to resolve the issues, I'll never buy an imac again...every brand has its haters and fanboys - form your own opinion...

Sir Yes Sir !!!!

Guest said:

Suck it up BestBuy sell them for $100.00 USD take GDamn loss and write it off on your taxes.

At $100.00 they will fly off the shelf, if they don't drop the price to $50.00.

Don't be crying pansies about this.

Guest said:

Best Buy people are ****** in my estimation. I've been camping out there for days tryinig to buy an HP Touchpad. They are out they say? If they are complaining about having to much stock, why don't they get it out to the stores? They will disappear off the shelves.

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