About the only thing more remarkable than the flurry of buyers scrambling to get their hands on the last remaining TouchPads over the weekend was how quickly the situation changed as retailers sold out and Web sites groaned under the load. It was hard to keep up: just ask HP’s Bryna Corcoran.
Corcoran, corporate social media community manager for HP (NYSE: HPQ), should probably file an expense report for a new keyboard after her weekend, in which she attempted to stay on top of the frantic TouchPad situation after HP announced last Thursday that it would stop making the devices. As word got out Friday that HP would sell off the remaining inventory at steep discounts, demand for the tablet–which had been comatose during the first six weeks it was on sale–exploded. And with so many changes in pricing and availability at various retailers over a 48-hour period, it was hard to know what was going on.
The list of tweets below tells the story of a crazy weekend, handled with grace and humor by Corcoran. HP had a lot of trouble with its Web stores and call centers, and even a site set up to let people register for notifications on when more stock would arrive went down under the load. According to analyst estimates spotted by AllThingsD, HP ordered between 500,000 and 1 million TouchPad units from manufacturing partners, and it sounds like the remaining units sitting in some far-flung warehouse will be snapped up quickly.