Over the 270K Touchpads that HP shipped to Best Buy in anticipation of a great launch, only a little over 9% of that have actually been sold. And now, Best Buy is asking (though All ThingsDigital used the word "wants") HP to take them all back.
I don't know how you slice it but if HP loses Best Buy, it isn't like there's a Circuit City that HP can go to to try and push them. Electronics retailers are pretty thin these days. There are not that many brick-and-mortars left.
So, what does this mean for Web OS? What will HP do with the next Touchpad?
One solution is to just go cheap. As in basement cheap. The tablet market is just too critical for HP to give up on. Yes, they can become another Windows 8 tablet maker in 2012 but calling it quits right now is just plain stupid.
And it doesn't look like HP wants to give up on Web OS so early in the game. HP has dropped $100 off the Touchpad which should help some what.
Furthermore, HP needs to give users a reason why they would want to buy a Touchpad over Android device let alone, an iPad. Right now, not only is the Touchpad not working for Best Buy, it's not selling well at other retailers as well.
I like the idea ATD suggested at the end of their post. Buy an HP laptop and get a Touchpad for dirt cheap. And if users want to resell that on eBay, hey, at least HP is getting them out the door and not have them sitting in warehouses.
Long-term wise, HP will need to rethink their whole strategy. One way to go about this is perhaps release a Web OS emulator that users install on their computers and allow them to experience it. An OS within an OS like Windows. It's cheap to do and who knows, it could catch on and translate into other Web OS sales and developer support.
Crazy? Hardly. Apple is already starting to do that. It's called OS X Lion.