Summary:

HP’s fire sale on the TouchPad lasted less than 24 hours, as a decision Friday to steeply discount the price of the cheapest model to $99 wa…

HP TouchPad

HP’s fire sale on the TouchPad lasted less than 24 hours, as a decision Friday to steeply discount the price of the cheapest model to $99 was followed by the abrupt removal of TouchPads from Best Buy’s Web site and at its retail stores, although it is still available at steep discounts in other countries.

Best Buy stores in the U.S. are currently out of the TouchPad, and any mention of HP’s WebOS tablet has been scrubbed from its U.S. Web site. The item is also listed as “out of stock” on HP’s Web site citing the discounted prices of $99 and $149, but the product page for each individual configuration has been pulled.

After HP (NYSE: HPQ) announced Thursday that it was getting out of the tablet business entirely, Best Buy employees in Emeryville, CA on Friday had promised that discounts were coming soon to the tablets, and the aggressive new pricing was released later that evening on HP’s Web site.

But it was not for long, as that inventory seems to have vanished. And it’s not clear whether or not HP and Best Buy pulled that inventory off store shelves or if TouchPad demand truly spiked at the lower prices.

A few places are still selling TouchPads, such as Amazon.com, which lists about 40 or so TouchPads currently available at the older prices from Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) partners. But the discounted pricing seems to only be available in Canada at the moment, as noted by PreCentral.

It seems pretty clear that HP made this decision rather hastily, because there is all kinds of confusion over the options available to current TouchPad owners. Engadget reported earlier on Saturday that TouchPad owners would be able to contact HP and receive the difference between the price they originally paid and the steeply discounted price, but the Web pages that they and other sites saw in order to verify those details have vanished.

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