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HP TouchPad sale breaks UK e-commerce records

24 August 2011 - 09:32 by Graham Miller

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This week electronics giant HP put the final nail in the coffin of its TouchPad tablet PC, discontinuing the line and allowing retailers to discount the two editions of the device to just £89 and £115 each. This caused a massive influx of people trying to buy the gadget via safe shopping online, setting a few records in the process.

The TouchPad is under two months old but after selling just a few units HP decided to cut its losses and pull the plug, a move which it is thought will cost it over £60 million.

The e-commerce outlet for Dixons drew the highest number of simultaneous visitors in the history of online shopping in the UK. In fact across all the major retailers which discounted the product, including Currys and the Carphone Warehouse, there was such a surge that no other shopping period has matched it in terms of sheer numbers.

As is unsurprising in this instance, the TouchPad sale saw major slowdown hamper the performance of retailer websites. In addition the significant interest meant that the tablet was sold out in a very brief period, leaving thousands disappointed and asking for some answers.

Irritated consumers took to social networking sites to complain about the way that the TouchPad sale had been promoted with such advance warning. This, they claim, allowed many more people to expect to take advantage of it than was realistically possible and delivered unreasonable amounts of traffic to the retailers involved in the promotion.

Only a handful of retailers actually participated in the stock-clearing discount of the new defunct TouchPad tablet. It is still for sale via safe shopping online at almost its full RRP of £399 or more, but there is a chance that other outlets will follow suit and bring it down to incredibly low levels if the units remain unsold.