HP ran a special this weekend bringing the TouchPad’s price down $100 to $399 for the 16GB model. Over the weekend, Staples was running a coupon for $100 dollars off that could be stacked with HP’s discount. This brought the TouchPad down to an extremely low price of $299. Some may think, “wow, what a steal!” In fact, it hits the magic number mentioned in a recent post quoting Mel Martin on what it would take for him to buy one of these tablets. However, these sales gimmicks are exactly what are likely going to lead to the finishing off of a product already on the chopping block. There are few problems I see with the model HP has decided to go with here:
We are getting to a point where no one even knows how much this product costs. HP lowered the price of the device permanently to $449, but right before the permanent price drop marked the device down to $399 with the $100 coupon. As mentioned before, one could get the device at Staples for $299 over the weekend as well. If you are a Slickdeals follower, you will notice you a Saturday deal that would land you a TouchPad for $350. Did you get all of that? Yeah, me neither.
Some may disagree with me on this, but I truly feel like quickly dropping prices like this shows the weakness of a device. This is something that the average buyer may also notice when they go out to buy their new tablet. Any research on the TouchPad will show how quickly the price dropped. Many consumers like myself will question why exactly this manufacturer quickly dropped their price $50. This seems especially odd when all of the other popular tablets are hitting the exact same price point of $499. Had HP started the device at $449, it would be a different story, but as it stands they just look desperate to attract customers. I don’t think you are ever going to go to the Apple Store and find an iPad outside of the standard pricing you are used to with the possible exception of Black Friday.
I’d be curious to see what all of this price changing has actually done for the TouchPad and how well it worked out for them over the weekend. This is a device I must admit I was looking forward to and expected some great things from, but it seems as usual with WebOS devices, it just wasn’t quite there.