Woe be the mighty HP. Retail giant Best Buy wants the PC maker’s tablets off its shelves after selling just 25,000 TouchPads. That’s not all, Walmart and others are also having trouble getting rid of the devices, according to a Wednesday report. Say it with us: there’s no tablet market, only an iPad market.
Best Buy has sold just 25,000 of 270,000 TouchPads — a tenth of the retailers inventory of HP tablets. Best Buy wants the devices out of its warehouses and off its shelves. Instead, the PC maker is asking for time and will send a “senior HP executive” to Best Buy’s Minneapolis headquarters to calm shaky nerves, the Wall Street Journal‘s All Things Digital reports.
But the nightmare for HP doesn’t stop there. Thursday, the company faces reporters to announce quarterly earnings. Look for the “channel sales” numbers and “sell through,” telling you the difference between the number of TouchPads shipped to retailers versus how many tablets actually walked out the door with consumers.
It also appears HP has shot itself in the foot trying to spur TouchPad sales by repeatedly lowering prices. Soon after its July release, the TouchPad price was cut by $100, an effort one analyst described as “wildcat pricing moves.” In the end, however, the price cuts only increased consumers’ reluctance to buy, instead waiting for the next discount.
How can HP dig itself out of the hole? Look for the PC maker to offer holiday bundles, where if you buy a computer, you get a TouchPad at a deep discount.