Report: Best Buy Wants HP To Take Back Unsold TouchPads

Best Buy has taken delivery of 270,000 HP TouchPads but sold just 25,000, according to, which quoted sources with knowledge of internal sales figures from HP and Best Buy. But that's not all: AllThingsD's sources also said Best Buy wants HP to take back the unsold TouchPads, and that HP is urging the retailer to be patient and wait for demand to materialize.

An HP spokesperson contacted by CRN Wednesday declined to provide TouchPad sales figures and said HP has no comment on the AllThingsD report.

That Best Buy would be having trouble selling the HP TouchPad isn't surprising in light of the pre-order difficulties the retailer ran into in the weeks prior to the tablet's July 1 launch. On the Palm enthusiast forum Treo Central, many posters complained about Best Buy store staff being unable to answer basic questions about the HP TouchPad.

"I have had no luck at 3 different local Best Buys trying to preorder this thing! They all have no idea what I am talking about at first, then come back and say 'you can preorder it online'," one Treo Central poster wrote in mid-June.

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HP has issued a series of price cuts in the last two weeks, which culminated in a permanent $100 discount.

HP reports its third quarter earnings Thursday, and odds are that analysts will pepper HP executives with questions about TouchPad sales and requests for sales figures. It's just as likely that HP won't offer any insight into TouchPad sales on the grounds that the product has only been on the market for half a quarter.

Several HP channel partners that are carrying the HP TouchPad have told CRN in recent weeks that the tablet isn't selling as quickly as they'd hoped.

Meanwhile, HP launched its Pre3 WebOS smartphone in Europe on Wednesday with a minimum of fanfare. The Pre3 and TouchPad were the two stars of the show at an HP event in February that was intended to be a coming out party of sorts for WebOS.