Summary:

HP (NYSE: HPQ) has made permanent the price cut on its TouchPad tablet after a special weekend promotion expired on Monday, with an updated…

HP TouchPad Cards

HP (NYSE: HPQ) has made permanent the price cut on its TouchPad tablet after a special weekend promotion expired on Monday, with an updated version expected soon and amid signs that the tablet isn’t making an impact with consumers.

According to the product page for the TouchPad on HP’s Web site, the 16GB TouchPad costs $399, which is the price that it carried over the weekend in what was supposed to be a limited-time promotion that ended on Sunday. However, HP told CNET that the new price is permanent as the company tries to carve out a niche in a market completely dominated by Apple.

We’ve yet to see if the tablet market can be price sensitive, since hardly anyone is buying anything that isn’t called an iPad. Tablet challengers can clearly make things more difficult for themselves, as Motorola did when it launched the Xoom, but there isn’t a lot of evidence as to whether or not people are put off by the price of the iPad enough to consider a cheaper alternative.

HP had to have made this decision very recently: Wal-Mart’s weekly circular is currently advertising the 16GB TouchPad for $448 through its online store, although the store itself lists the price at $398. Another version of the TouchPad for AT&T’s network is expected to arrive soon, and while it briefly appeared on Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) for $699 without a contract, the subsidized carrier price will likely be cheaper.

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