HP to discontinue TouchPad tabletTablet victim of major restructuring

19 August 2011

HP Touchpad

Technology giant HP has announced major plans to restructure the company, discontinuing its months-old tablet product and mobile phone lines and selling-off its personal computer business.

The HP TouchPad, which only went on sale in June, is the most high-profile casualty of the HP's decision. 

Developed after HP's $1.2 billion purchase of Palm and its critically acclaimed webOS operating system, the HP TouchPad has struggled in spite of a multi-million dollar marketing campaign to promote its launch.

Confused by tablets? Read our free tablet buyers' guide for easy to understand advice.

Couldn't compete with Apple

The TouchPad was HP's attempt to compete with Apple in the lucrative tablet market. Like the iPad it had a 9.7-inch screen and came with an operating system specifically designed for it.

In our HP TouchPad review, we found the operating system had a 'slick interface' but that it was dogged by sluggish performance when opening apps. A software update reportedly improved its overall performance, but it could do nothing to improve sales.

Read our full to see how it fared in our tests.

Spinning-off PC business

HP has also announced plans to spin-off its personal computer division, the part of the company that sells PCs and laptops to consumers. Despite being the largest PC manufacturer in the world in sales volume, it's believed HP has unhappy with the profit margins it generated.

Known as the Personal Systems Group (PSG), the PC division will continue to operate as a separate company and may be subject to a takeover bid from rival manufacturers. HP may also attempt to sell the webOS operating system that powers the HP TouchPad.

HP's printer business remains unaffected by the company restructuring.

How will this affect you?

If you own an HP desktop PC, laptop or printer, there is no need for concern. HP's PC business is still functioning and will not be shut down.

If you've bought an HP TouchPad, the Which? Legal Service has this advice:

'Rights under the Sale of Goods Act do not cease because a product has been discontinued. However the consumer may find that some of the remedies available under the Act, such as a like for like replacement, is not possible if the product has been discontinued. As far as the manufacturers warranty is concerned, whether it is to be honoured when a product is discontinued will depend on the terms of the warranty.'

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