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HP to make one more batch of TouchPads

HP TouchPad
HP TouchPad

HP says it will manufacture "one last run" of TouchPads, but it is not saying yet whether they will be sold at the deeply discounted price of $99 or closer to their original price of $499 for the 16 GB model.

"Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand," said Mark Budgell, HP's social media strategist, on a company blog Tuesday. "We don’t know exactly when these units will be available or how many we’ll get, and we can’t promise we’ll have enough for everyone. We do know that it will be at least a few weeks before you can purchase."

Just Monday, Budgell said that HP, after receiving "an overwhelming number of requests to be notified if the TouchPad is again available for sale," turned "off" customers' online ability to be notified.

In an updated Q-and-A on the HP blog, Budgell said HP will make "a limited quantity" of the tablets "during our fourth fiscal quarter 2011, which ends October 31."

As far as the tablet's pricing, the answer was the same Tuesday as it Monday, to this question: "What about retailers?  Some retailers won’t price match or drop their price to $99."

Each retailer will manage their own policy and process regarding pricing and price matching.  Please contact the local retailer of your choice to see what their current position is.

For those who are interested — despite not knowing what the price will be — Budgell suggests following his tweets on Twitter (@MarkatHP) or those of his colleague, Bryna Corcoran, HP's social media manager (@BrynaatHP) to keep up-to-date with TouchPad news.

The tablet, which only came on the market two months ago, retailed for $499 for the 16 GB version and $599 for the model with 32 GB. A little more than 10 days ago, HP said it was dropping the prices to $99 and $149, respectively, after announcing it was killing off the product. The tablets, which use the webOS, became harder to get than a mortgage, as customers snatched up the existing supply within a matter of a few days.

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