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Discount TouchPads back on sale – for developers only

hp-webosHewlett-Packard’s TouchPad tablet is back on sale again – but this time only WebOS developers are being offered the chance to purchase it.

Under HP’s Developer Device Program, the company is offering developers with coupons the opportunity to purchase up to two 32GB TouchPads at the same low price we saw when the device was sold off cheap to consumers in August: $149.99.

According to HP’s website, it has received “more requests for coupons than we have devices” so is currently unable to accept further requests from developers.

It added: “We thank you for your patience and look forward to seeing your applications in the webOS App Catalog!”

Back in August, HP announced it was pulling the plug on tablet and smartphone production, which resulted in a fire sale of its TouchPad tablet. The device had been selling poorly, but the fire sale price resulted in it flying off the shelves. HP also said at the time that it was considering spinning off its PC business. But then, following Meg Whitman’s appointment as CEO in September, everything appeared to be up in the air again.

At the end of last month, Whitman said HP would continue to make PCs, and last week the company unveiled the Slate 2, a Windows 7-based tablet. A Windows 8-based tablet is also planned.

The fate of its WebOS software platform, however, still isn’t entirely clear, although reports emerged on Monday that HP was looking at the possibility of selling it following interest from several technology companies. Selling its remaining WebOS-based TouchPads to developers at least keeps the platform alive, thereby making it more interesting to potential buyers.

If you’re not a developer but would still like to get your hands on a TouchPad, all is not lost. Walmart will be happy to sell you one for $149.99 – though you’ll have to buy a laptop too.

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