Small launch for HP Slate 500 overwhelmed by larger pre-orders
Reports suggested HP's focus had shifted to a dual webOS-Android strategy, the Slate falling foul of a lack of interest in Windows 7 as a suitable platform for tablets.
Nonetheless, citing "extraordinary demand" for the device, the Slate made its debut at the end of October, with consumers looking to pick up the tablet post launch now being told they may have to wait until 2011 as the firm looks to meet orders.
Any suggestion that the tablet might be taking on iPad, however, has been blown out of the water by the revelation that the device's initial production run may have only numbered 5,000 units.
Dipping its toesEngadget claims that, while HP's PR department has naturally been billing shortages as the result of high consumer interest, early sell outs are actually down to what amounts to a soft launch by the firm.
The Slate's debut appears to have been something of an experiment for HP, with the site citing a 'trusted tipster' who claims the firm's initial run was overcome by 4,000 additional pre-orders.
HP has reportedly had to re-hire production workers to meet demand and is now offering customers more than $100 off their $799 purchase as an apology.
It's hardly the example of wanton consumer lust the company would have been looking to colour the Slate's sell out as.
Indeed, as Apple Insider points out, sales of Apple's iPad currently average more than 46,000 units a day, launch sales of 9,000 HP Slate 500s hardly registering in comparison.