HP exec says TouchPad may be resurrected, current owners to get OTA update [UPDATED]

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| August 30, 2011

HP TouchPad

Earlier this month, HP caught many of us off-guard when it announced plans to discontinue operations on webOS hardware, like the Pre 3 and TouchPad, effective Q4 2011. It seems that the TouchPad may contain a bit of the zombie virus, though, as HP Personal Systems Group head Todd Bradley recently revealed that his company may bring the webOS slate back from the dead. "Tablet computing is a segment of the market that's relevant, absolutely," Bradley said in an interview with Reuters. The executive didn't elaborate on his statements any further.

Keeping up with the TouchPad news, it seems that current owners of the device may have a new software update to look forward to. HP told CNET that it's planning to release an over the air update that will "enhance the platform and add functionality and a growing applications catalog." There's no word yet on exactly what improvements will be included in the OTA update or when it'll begin rolling out. Unsurprisingly, HP also said that it's seeing "huge spikes in activations and between 3-5X downloads of apps" ever since it slashed the TouchPad's pricing to $100 for the 16GB model and $150 for the 32GB version.

The idea of HP bringing the TouchPad is an interesting one. On the one hand, it could make sense considering that the TouchPad user base has undoubtedly skyrocketed ever since HP kicked off the tablet's fire sale. On the other hand, though, resurrecting the webOS slate may not be the brightest thing that HP could do. Sure, the TouchPad is selling like hotcakes right now. But its popularity can likely be attributed more to its $99 price point than anything else, and I'm not so sure that HP could continue to sell the TouchPad at such an aggressive price point. What do you all make of the possibility of HP bringing back the TouchPad? Do you think such a move is a good idea?

UPDATE: Just to keep all of you that want a TouchPad but haven't been able to snag one just yet in the loop, HP has announced that it'll be manufacturing a "limited quantity" of TouchPads to try and help meet demand. There's no mention of exactly when they'll go on sale, but HP says it'll be "at least a few weeks" before they'll go on sale.

Via MobileBurn (1), (2), Reuters, CNET, HP

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