Best Buy to HP: "Do We Need a Receipt to Return These TouchPads?"


Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone, but sales of Hewlett-Packard's (NYS: HPQ) TouchPad are officially embarrassingly few and far between.

According to All Things D, big-box electronics retailer Best Buy (NYS: BBY) has more than 200,000 TouchPads taking up valuable space in its stores and warehouses. The report indicates that the company had initially taken delivery of 270,000 of the ill-fated tablet and has been able to move only 25,000 of them into the hands of buyers.

Allegedly, the retailer is so distraught that it's even asking HP to take them back and that HP has sent a senior executive to smooth things over and discuss the matter further. This comes just before HP's quarterly earnings release on Thursday. Your guess is as good as mine about how much detail the company will divulge about TouchPad sales.

To an extent, HP's erratic pricing behavior has exacerbated things. Since the tablet's launch on July 1 for $500, the doomed device saw heavy discounts offering it for as low as $385 roughly a month later. Next, the price was permanently cut by 20% to $400. For the few potential TouchPad buyers out there, these unpredictable price changes give them an incentive to wait and see whether the price drops further, which hurts sales further, which may lead to more price drops... you get the picture. It's kind of like deflation, but only with TouchPads.

Can anyone touch Apple's (NAS: AAPL) iPad? Not yet, at least when it comes to sales. It looks like HP may not be getting the bang for its buck that it envisioned when picking up Palm.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorEvan Niuowns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out hisholdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Best Buy.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Apple and Best Buy and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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