Wal-Mart to carry TouchPad, 32GB set at $599 [exclusive]
HP’s distribution advantage over some other tablet manufacturers is hard to deny. They have massive inroads with traditional electronics retailers like Best Buy and Amazon, their own online store, and a good relationship with rising electronics powers like Target and Wal-Mart. We’re expecting HP’s all-out assault for the TouchPad to hit all of these markets avenues and then some, and thanks to an enterprising tipster, we’ve got a better idea about how much these things might end up costing if Wal-Mart is your preferred shopping destination (though we’re no closer to knowing when they’ll arrive).
First up is the mighty TouchPad itself, which Wal-Mart will carry in at least the 32GB configuration, and at the price of $599.00. That’s right in line with the pricing for Apple’s 32GB Wi-Fi iPad 2, and right in line with what we are anticipating. While weren’t able to glean any info about when the TouchPad will actually be available at Wal-Mart or any other retailer, we got our first glimpse at the packaging. Well, actually just the size of the packaging: 9.5x10x1.78 inches – approximately the same size as the iPad’s packaging (weight was listed as 3 lbs). Seems it wasn’t just product design where HP targeted the iPad, let’s just hope Apple doesn’t pull a Samsung on HP.
Also to be available at Wal-Mart is the TouchPad-specific Touchstone Dock/Stand. Like the little puck Touchstone charger when it first debuted, the price for the stand-style tablet Touchstone isn’t cheap: $79.88. Granted, this is for what we expect to be a more powerful charger (it’s for the power-hungry TouchPad, after all), with two sets of inductive charging and communications coils (one for landscape and one for portrait TouchPad orientations). Plus it’s machined out of a chunk of metal, unlike the little smartphone Touchstones (or the TouchPad itself).
Apart from the TouchPad and Touchstone stand, Wal-Mart also stands to carry the webOS Bluetooth keyboard for $69.88 and the first-party TouchPad case for $49.88. Also listed is an AC charger, priced at $29.88 – the same price HP currently charges for the old Palm AC-to-USB adapter and micro-USB cable (okay, it’s 10 cents less). It doesn’t appear that Wal-Mart has yet placed any orders for the TouchPad or any of its respective accessories, but with the massive efficiencies that define Wal-Mart’s distribution system, our tipster says they could have it in stores as early as the 1st of June if the product were to hit Wal-Mart’s distribution centers by next week.