Aug. 30, 2011 at 1:01 PM ET
Talk about mixed messages: HP kills the TouchPad, but will still provide updates that "add functionality" to the webOS tablet.
So a Hewlett-Packard spokesperson told CNET yesterday, continuing to support the software behind a device it's discontinuing, even as the public rushes to snap up its $99 tablet (slashed after the company decided they would no longer be in the business of making webOS tablets and smartphones).
HP told CNET the over-the-air update would also "enhance the platform." TouchPad owners can also look forward to "a growing applications catalog." Moreover, because of a big spike in activations and downloads since the fire sale put the TouchPad front and center in the national consciousness, HP will "continue to investigate the best ways to leverage WebOS software and grow the applications."
As we reported yesterday, Mark Budgell, HP's social media strategist, said the company is "surprised by the enthusiastic response to the TouchPad price drop, and we understand and that many customers were disappointed that HP and our retail partners ran out of supply so fast."
Why should they be so surprised? $99 for a tablet, even a second-tier one, is a steal! What surprises us, though, is their ambiguity in whether or not more are coming. It's all a big mystery. Their answer on the site's blog only says: "We will have more information available in the next few days about whether or not more will be available and if so, what the details will be about the situation."
But with updates and more apps coming, isn't that a sign that perhaps they're re-thinking exiting the tablet space?
An HP spokesperson got back to us today and added:
It's consistent with what we have been saying. While we are discontinuing the development of webOS-based devices, we are continuing to enhance the software platform. This includes OTA updates and growing applications. We have seen record activations and downloads of apps recently.