By Arik Hesseldahl on a World Wide Web site on the information superhighway:
According to one source who’s seen internal HP reports, Best Buy has taken delivery of 270,000 TouchPads and has so far managed to sell only 25,000, or less than 10 percent of the units in its inventory.
A second person who has seen Best Buy’s TouchPad sales figures confirmed the results as “consistent with what I’ve seen,” and went so far as to say that 25,000 sold might be “charitable.” This source suggested that the 25,000-unit sales number may not account for units that consumers return to stores for a refund.
If this is anywhere near accurate, it’s pretty dismal. (For whatever it’s worth, a reader emailed me to say that at his big-box store branch, they had sold zero TouchPads so far. Zero.)
I’m guessing HP is going to attempt to do what retail juggernauts usually do to solve poor sales: keep cutting the price. But the margins are probably already far too thin to be sustainable long-term even at $399 — how far will they cut it?
More importantly, is price really the reason why people aren’t buying the TouchPad in meaningful volume?