Discounted HP Touchpads sell out

HP touchpad

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HP's discontinued tablet computer, the Touchpad, has briefly become the UK's most wanted gadget.

Many retailers have slashed prices on the device - some as low as £89 - after the company announced it would stop producing them.

The Touchpad was launched less than two months ago, with models starting at £399.

HP has said it is looking at ways to continue development apps for its WebOS platform which the Touchpad runs.

Online retailer Dabs.com sold its stock of 500 Touchpads in just 15 minutes.

Dixons retail, which owns PC World, Currys and Dixons.com, described demand as "unprecedented".

Similar discounts began to appear in the United States over the weekend.

It is understood that HP contacted UK retailers on Monday evening to notify them of a drastic reduction in the wholesale price.

However, some sellers were clearly hoping to make a higher margin.

On Tuesday afternoon, resellers on Amazon.co.uk were selling the 16GB model for £250, with the 32GB model priced at £279.

Tesco direct was selling the 16GB model at £349.

Obsolete?

Despite the fire sale prices, it is unclear how much support Touchpad users will receive in future.

HP has promised to honour product warranties. It also suggested that the operating system will receive some ongoing attention.

In a statement, the company said: "We expect that HP TouchPad owners can look forward to an over-the-air update that will enhance the platform and add functionality and a growing applications catalogue."

However, it seems unlikely that there will be much incentive for developers to continue creating applications for WebOS, given the limited number of devices that run it, and the fact that no more are likely to appear.

Some hardware hackers are already competing to be the first to put Google's Android operating system on the Touchpad.

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