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Best Buy only sold 9.3 percent of HP TouchPad stock, claims leak

The WebOS tablet may be having a tough time on store shelves if these rumors are to be believed

As the other major operating system caught in the battle between iOS and Android, WebOS may be having a hard time launching itself out of obscurity in the minds of the general public. According to a leak from AllThingsD, the problem may be even bigger than initially thought.

Sources close to AllThingsD  say that Best Buy, one of  the largest brick and mortar retailers in the United States, has so far only sold 25,000 TouchPad units out of a stock of 270,000, or just 9.3 percent of the total inventory. To make matters worse, the estimation did not account for returns from unsatisfied buyers. The extremely low sales could explain the recent TouchPad price drops, which occurred just weeks past launch.

So what will Best Buy do with the remaining stock? Apparently, the retailer may be refusing to pay for all the TouchPad tablets and may even want to send them back to HP. This stock problem extends beyond Best Buy and could even be affecting other major retailers such as Costco, Wal-Mart, Microcenter and Fry’s, the source claims.

A possible solution HP may be considering is to offer bundles with the TouchPad. Continuous and frequent price drops may not work, believes Envisioneering Group analyst Rich Doherty, as it will cause consumers to just wait for the next price drop instead.

The 9.7-inch HP TouchPad runs the latest version of WebOS and launched early July here in the United States. The company’s acquisition of Palm Inc. in 2010 could be tough to pay off if these leaks are found to be accurate.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-08-17 (Update: 2012-05-26)