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Friday, 19 August 2011 10:41

Gone: Harvey Norman remove HP's Australian TouchPad from sale

HP TouchPad AustraliaHarvey Norman has this morning removed HP's just-launched TouchPad tablet from sale, following embarrassing news overnight that HP has axed the product.

Just four days after it first launched in Australia, HP's first Australian WebOS device has been removed from sale after its United States head office axed all WebOS hardware products citing poor sales performance.

Harvey Norman, HP's main retail seller of the tablet, has this morning removed all traces of the tablet from its website, with pricing and product listings vanishing from the company's store. However a landing page still remains, although pricing has been taken down.

The first sign of trouble came last week, when TouchPad pricing was slashed by $100 before it had even launched. Previously HP was offering its TouchPad for $599 for the 16GB model and $699 for the 32GB edition, but following the price cut, made them available at $499 and $599 respectively.

Ironically Harvey Norman's launch special, a free 3G Wi-Fi hotspot with every TouchPad sold, didn't even reach the end of the promotion, which was supposed to complete on the 23rd of August.

HP said today during its financial results announcement that it's pulling out of the WebOS hardware arena following 'disappointing' results that led to the division responsible for the devices running at a substantial loss over the past quarter.

'HP will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones,' the company said in a statement overnight.

'The devices have not met internal milestones and financial targets. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.'

Today's announcement also means Australia will never see a WebOS phone available for sale, at least from HP, with the company now considering its options for the future of the WebOS software.

HP also revealed today that it is planning to 'explore' strategic alternatives for the company's Personal Systems Group, that is responsible for the manufacturing of, amongst other things, the company's personal computer range for consumers.

The alternatives could include selling off the Personal Systems Group arm of the company, or spinning it off into its own, separate entity.

The company also recorded a net revenue of $US31.2 billion for the third quarter, up 1% from the same time last year but down 2% when adjusted for currency impacts. It also announced the acquisition of Autonomy, a provider of enterprise infrastructure software.

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