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Harvey Norman ditch HP TouchPad, is the tablet doomed?

Harvey Norman, the well known electronics retailer has instructed their stores to remove thousands of webOS powered HP Touchpads from shelves today. Hewlett Packard have announced that they are no longer producing the device.

Harvey Norman’s general manager of computers in Australia Ben McIntosh spoke to ZDNET and said the move had to be taken as a reaction to the ‘uncertain future of the webOS platform.’

McIntosh said “I’m taking a very proactive view on this, rather than waiting and waiting, Because I can’t be sure that webOS won’t be supported ongoing, I’ve instructed my franchisees to take the TouchPad off the shelves. Not because HP told me to, just because we can’t be sure if they’re going to [be supported in future]”.

Sales figures were reported to be surprisingly good, with 1,200 TouchPads sold in the first four days. In a dramatic turn of events Harvey Norman have been contacting customers, offering them a full refund or credit for another tablet.

“There will be some customers who wish to keep the TouchPad; if they do, that’s fine, we’ll support them. No customer that’s bought a TouchPad will be disadvantaged at all.” he added.

With the future of WebOS in doubt it looks as if buying a TouchPad is a very risky move, even though they have just gone in sale in the UK this week.

That world’s largest PC maker said that the firm would not only exit WebOS mobile hardware business but was also exploring a disposal of the IT giant’s Personal Systems Group, the business unit that manufactures PCs and notebooks.

Kitguru says: Did you buy a TouchPad? Are you taking it back for a refund?

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