Taking a look back through our stories and the deals we have seen during 2011, the top pick for the CP 2011 Deal Of The Year quickly became obvious.
The product was in a category that is bursting at the seams with newness and popularity – tablets! And not only was it a good tablet, it was a bellwether of the future – cheap tablets.
But what made this particular deal the CP 2011 Deal Of The Year was that it was not a cheap tablet – but an expensive tablet sold cheap!
The HP TouchPad firesale wins recognition as the CP 2011 Deal Of the Year.
The tablet was originally priced at $499 for a model with 16GB storage, and $599 for a model with 32GB storage. Due to a variety of reasons, from marketing to pricing, initial sales were sluggish. Just seven weeks after the HP TouchPad was launched, HP announced they were discontinuing the tablet, and prices dropped to $99 for the 16GB version, and $149 for the 32GB version.
It was August 20, 2011. A feeding frenzy ensued. Online retailers sold out within hours. Because word of the price drop leaked out in the middle of the night, stores opened the next morning with shoppers at the door wanting the firesale pricing. However, some stores had not gotten word of the price drop, others that did sold out quickly. One of the largest HP TouchPad resellers sold them for a short while, then announced they were pulling them from shelves and wouldn’t sell them, then sold some, but sent others back to HP. Shoppers who purchased HP TouchPads at full price just weeks earlier were promised refunds.
Shoppers who scored an HP TouchPad during the original firesale, or one of the subsequent short lived buying opportunities after the original firesale, got themselves a wifi enabled tablet with a 9.7 inch, Gorilla Glass, multitouch, capacitive, touch screen. The TouchPad has a 1.2Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 1.3 MP front facing camera. It runs the now maybe-sorta discontinued WebOS (HP has said they will make WebOS open source, but where it will go from there is unknown).
Not only was the HP TouchPad firesale a great deal for the shoppers that got in on it, but it has also been an ongoing source of new stories here at CP.
From the original launch to the discounts, to the firesale, then erratic availability. HP surprised us with a WebOS update after previously saying it was discontinued… then they made WebOS open source. Not to mention the a sudden sale on eBay just before Christmas.
And we don’t expect the HP TouchPad news to be over quite yet, as several teams are working on a stable port for putting Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on the TouchPad. We will report on that effort as it develops.
For being both a great deal, and for giving us one heck of an entertaining ride along the way – the 2011 Deal Of The Year is the HP TouchPad firesale!