It’s like HP (NYSE: HPQ) woke up and suddenly realized it was in the business of trying to help people enjoy their new HP TouchPad tablets, you know, the ones the company has decided it no longer wants to sell. Another free app promotion revealed Monday sort of makes one wonder why HP didn’t think of taking steps to make TouchPad owners happy before it decided to stop selling tablets.
HP has now released two “6-packs” of application download codes that let TouchPad users save a few bucks on popular applications. The first one sold out pretty quickly after its release last week, HP said Monday, and so it has decided to promote another offer that includes a free code for the WebOS version of Angry Birds Rio.
There are a few conclusions one can draw from this. First, that HP sold practically no TouchPads prior to the decision to get out of the tablet business and sell off the remaining TouchPad inventory at a loss, which spurred enough people into buying where HP noticed actual usage of the devices, and therefore demand for apps. The second is that HP really missed out on a chance to reward early TouchPad owners–the few who actually bought at a price that made HP money–with free apps that could have perhaps made those people feel better about their decision.
It’s possible that the decision to shutter the tablet hardware division came so late and as such a surprise to the tablet marketing team that plans had already been in place for these app promotions. HP offered no similar promotions in the six weeks between the launch of the TouchPad and its decision to exit the tablet hardware business two weeks ago. UPDATE: As pointed out below, HP did offer $50 worth of apps to those who purchased the TouchPad prior to the fire sale.
But either way, HP does have a vested interest in keeping WebOS active, as it will probably wind up either selling the division outright or licensing the software to another hardware company. It’s just sort of amusing that the company is promoting WebOS apps only after essentially putting WebOS on the auction block.