As I'm sure you know by now, HP announced plans to spin off PSG back in August and pulled out of the webOS hardware business, too. As a result, the price of the TouchPad was reduced to a mere $99 or $149; and people went nuts. It was worse than trying to hunt down an iPad on launch day – TouchPads disappeared from stock in a matter of minutes, both online and in retail locations across the nation.
A large portion of the people who jumped on the remarkable deal were simply looking to get their hands on a tablet for relatively cheap. Who wouldn't? Instead of settling for the hard-to-justify $400-$600 price range, they paid well under $99-$149 for a tablet with similar hardware and specifications. But one of the bigger reasons behind the mass hysteria was the high possibility of the TouchPad running Google's own Android. I ran a poll the Monday after the fire sale, asking if those who bought a TouchPad were hoping for an Android port. Of those who who answered, 20 percent said they would load Android as soon as it becomes available and nearly 26 percent claimed they would consider it once it becomes an option.
Well, a few weeks have passed and a series of unfortunate events have since taken place, making the hopes of an Android port for the webOS tablet more bleak. HackNMod initiated a bounty for a working Android port for the webOS tablet, which started at $1,500 and is now up to $2,340, which inevitably created a bit of competition. Both TouchDroid and the CyanogenMod teams were working on creating a stable port for the TouchPad – the CM team revealed that the proceeds would be donated to charity while the TouchDroid team's motives were unknown. After a heated soap opera scandal that I don't care to detail (you can go here if you'd like to read about it), TouchDroid has disbanded, leaving the (still very capable) CyanogenMod team to finish the work. This obviously doesn't mean that the port will not happen, but progress has already been painstakingly slow. And with less brains collaboratively working on the project, things are only going to go slower.
TouchPad users are starting to get antsy and impatient. I have talked with several coworkers, colleagues and friends, only to find that their TouchPads have started collecting dust. They have either sold their TouchPad or are considering posting it on eBay or Craigslist in the coming days or weeks, myself included.
I've only had my TouchPad for a little over two weeks. I have searched the HP webOS Catalog from top to bottom and Preware for all of the applications I wanted and downloaded all of them. I came out with a total of ten apps and 50GB of free cloud storage from Box.net. After the initial excitement of having the TouchPad and the five minutes it took to install Preware (to rid the tablet of all of HP's excessive logging), I have only used the tablet once or twice. Why? I have no use for it as there are hardly any applications available (by comparison). And let's face it, applications are everything when it comes to tablets.
It may only be because guys (and gals) like us have a constant flow of devices and the lack of application support is just uninviting amongst Android tabs or iPads. But it sounds to me like a lot of people are quickly getting tired of their TouchPads and selling them. Is it because this Android port is taking so long? Who knows ...
Here's to hoping the CM team can pull through and provide a stable port in the next few weeks. If you're a developer, have a TouchPad and want to contribute some talent, you can visit the TouchDroid forums and download their system dump.
What do you say, folks? Are you still happy with your TouchPad? Or is this painfully slow Android port and lack of app support wearing your nerves thin and making you look elsewhere for your Android tablet fix? Have you sold (or are you considering selling) your TouchPad?