Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad tablet has only been dead a week and it's already become a much sought-after item. But a project to replace TouchPad's webOS with the open-source operating system Android already has hit a snag.
The group of programmers working to create a "TouchDroid" has had a rift, stemming from an alleged misrepresentation by one of the group's members -- and the possible misuse of donations meant for the project.
Allegations About Team Member
Project leader Thomas Sohmers has told news media that one team member used donations to buy TouchPads, which he then resold for a profit. Sohmers also said the unnamed person misrepresented his background and deleted the TouchDroid Twitter account when the questions started. There are also reports on the web that this team member deleted some critical development files.
The unnamed team member has denied the accusations. Sohmers has indicated he will be restarting the TouchDroid project with a few of the original team members.
Centered on the Rootz Wiki forum, the group -- called TouchDroid -- is looking to first port Android 2.3, Gingerbread, to the TouchPad, and then begin working on a port for Android 3.0, Honeycomb. Honeycomb is the first Android version designed specifically for tablets.
An Android on TouchPad page has also been established on Facebook.
One website, Hack N Mod, is offering a reward of $2,150 for a successful port of Android to the TouchPad. The total is actually broken down into components, such as $950 for the basic Android port, $350 for getting Wi-Fi working, and so on.
TouchDroid on eBay?
At the same time, there are web reports of some sightings of TouchPads already running Android, apparently the result of some tests by Qualcomm's internal developer group. One TouchPad running Android has been offered in an auction on eBay, and the seller, someone called Dallasboygreen, has suggested that the unit might be entered into the Hack N Mod competition.
On Thursday of last week, HP announced it would no longer manufacture devices using its webOS platform, which it obtained when it bought Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010. By Monday, the tablets were selling at $99 for the 16GB model, which was $499 when first released in July, and $149 for the 32GB, formerly $599.
That radical price drop led to a run on the remaining tablets, with the HP website, Best Buy, Amazon.com and other retailers reporting sellouts. HP has said it will make some more TouchPads available for sale shortly.
Posted: 2011-08-26 @ 12:19pm PT
"HP has said it will make some more TouchPads available for sale shortly." - Please substantiate with more details.
Also, do we know anything about the background of the TouchDroid team members, or is this possibly a stunt to back out from a team that never had the skils in the first place?
Posted: 2011-08-26 @ 7:35am PT
Get the information correct and talk to the other side. Very 1 sided, Thomas is just a little 15 year old kid who likes to spread rumors.
Posted: 2011-08-25 @ 10:36pm PT
Go to the touchdroid website. This is just an ex member trying to cause a publicity stunt. THIS IS FAKE
Posted: 2011-08-25 @ 4:11pm PT
Paddy, I placed an order with HP last Saturday through their small business site, and they just filled it earlier today. I suspect the priority is to satisfy the orders that have been previously placed with them, and then sell any extras that exist. I'd be surprised if 'extras' exist at that point though.
Posted: 2011-08-25 @ 2:57pm PT
Jay, what exactly do you mean by "true retail"? The cost the item should be, as determined by the market? If so, then all tablet manufacturers would be producing and selling their units at a loss if they were priced at $99. It costs at least a few hundred dollars to produce a quality tablet currently.
Posted: 2011-08-25 @ 2:11pm PT
"HP has said it will make some more TouchPads available for sale shortly."
Have they said at what price? Perhaps they sell remaining inventory at a price that boosts value of WebOS ?
Keep supporting it ? Having built a user base with 'firesale' at a loss ? A better strategy then what they appear to be doing ?
Posted: 2011-08-25 @ 2:08pm PT
Leave AAPL out of you mess.
Posted: 2011-08-25 @ 2:07pm PT
Yes Jay because companies should make absolutely no profit and/or sell products at a loss.
Posted: 2011-08-25 @ 2:03pm PT
I agree with Jay. If I had $500 to spend on a tablet, I would buy an iPad because I already own a Macbook, iPhone, and a few iPods (from over the years). However, I would certainly sacrifice the usability and easy ability to sync Apple products to each other if it meant only spending $99.
Posted: 2011-08-25 @ 2:02pm PT
Donations were not used to buy TouchPads. They were all transferred to a 3rd party who is not associated with the project. The original team members all voted to remove Thomas Sohmers from the team because of his inability to stop spreading misinformation about a project that had barely gotten off the ground. He was seen as a detriment to the development process and is no longer involved.
Posted: 2011-08-25 @ 2:01pm PT
People who buy bulk to resell at an inflated price should be hung and made an example of. Their greed ruins good opportunities for everyone else. Ticket scalping is illegal, but electronics scalping isn't? Corporations don't care because they get paid regardless, and they've shown time and again they care absolutely nothing about consumers. Scalpers are scum.
Posted: 2011-08-25 @ 1:44pm PT
$99 is a lot closer to true retail. If companies weren't so greedy and trying to follow Apple's ridiculous pricing schemes, they'd actually have some really popular devices flooding the market.