$99 TouchPad Fire Sale Sets Off Internet Frenzy

Nobody wanted to buy a TouchPad at $499 (for the 16GB version). Very few people wanted to buy one at the reduced price of $399. At $99, however, it’s hard to say no to any decent tablet, even if it’s a discontinued model. Now that some resellers have started to discount the HP TouchPad base model after the company announced that it would exit the tablet market altogether earlier this week, some parts of the Internet have started to feel like Black Friday in August.

While Best Buy in Canada was already selling the TouchPad at the highly discounted price, few U.S. outlets offered the discounted price so far. Some enterprising shoppers have found ways to get a hold of some units, though. HP itself, for example, was selling $99 TouchPads on its site for academic users and those with HP Employee Purchase Programs sponsored by their companies. Those units are gone now.

I doubt HP ever saw quite a run on a product like tonight – especially one that was, until today, an extremely unpopular one. Today, however, the folks over at deals forum SlickDeals have already posted almost 350 pages worth of comments about this deal. Users there are hunting the Internet for new stock somewhere and are counting down the time until Amazon could potentially offer the $99 deal as well. There is also quite some confusion about whether Best Buy will have $99 units in stock tomorrow morning – or if all the unsold inventory will be shipped back to HP.

Overall, then, this must be a rather depressing moment for HP. It’s flagship tablet is finally selling like hotcakes (or iPads) – but at a major loss for the company.