The HP TouchPad is no more. The month-old device has become the latest casualty in the bitter tablet wars, receiving the cold shoulder from HP as the company announced yesterday that it will cease manufacturing the product. However, this news means that bargain hunters are licking their lips at the chance to score an aggressive deal on the webOS-based tablet. But how steep of a discount can you expect and how soon?
Turning to Flip to Predict Future TouchPad Drops
In order to gain some insight on common-practice pricing trends for discontinued products (and thus predict future TouchPad discounts), we analyzed past deals for another gadget casualty: the Flip Digital Camcorder, which was discontinued by Cisco in April of 2011.
Prior to the Flip's demise, the 2nd-generation 4GB Flip MinoHD's best deal came during the week of Black Friday when we listed it for $89. (It had been $136 prior to that mention.) Three weeks after its discontinuation, the 4GB MinoHD beat that Black Friday price when it dropped to an all-time low of $84. And just last week we saw a 4GB (3rd-generation) fall to a new all-time low of $58 (via Amazon), four months after the announcement of its demise.
We also saw steep discounts on the 2nd-generation 8GB model, which dropped from $119 in February to $68 in June. And, for further comparison, we recently listed the 3rd-generation 8GB MinoHD for $90 (via PC Connection Express), down from $139 in March.
What Does This Mean for TouchPad?
Across the board, all MinoHD models received stellar discounts, particularly the 4GB models. This may correlate with the 16GB HP TouchPad, which debuted for $499. It was listed last week for $331 (currently $397 with free shipping at Abe's of Maine), which means this could eventually be the first major tablet to come in at under $300.
As for the 32GB TouchPad, it debuted from HP for $599. Days after its release, we listed it for $550, and later HP temporarily discounted it to $499. And already today, we found a deal at B&H Photo-Video for $449 with free shipping — the best price we've seen so far. (Note: See our update below.)
However, regardless of the model, if you're looking for a heavily-discounted TouchPad, we recommend that you forgo the initial wave of deals. Instead, wait one or two months and you'll likely score an even bigger all-time low.
Update: HP has since discounted the 16GB TouchPad to $99.99 and the 32GB TouchPad to $149.99. Although both are listed as sold out, check dealnews throughout the day (or set up an email alert) to see if they come back in stock.