updated 12:10 pm EDT, Sun September 18, 2011
HP TouchPad sells to staff Sept 28 as CM7 updates
HP has signalled that its steeply discounted TouchPad sales are imminent through a leaked staff memo just as work has advanced on hacking Android into the tablet. A notice from Personal Systems Group head Stephen DeWitt has told HP workers that they will have "one last chance" to buy the TouchPad, on September 28. The company is expecting shortages and a glut of orders, TechCrunch saw; staff will be limited to one tablet each and may have to wait up to 10 days for shipments due to the "extraordinarily busy" warehouses.
Prices for staff would be the same as they have been at the fire sale prices, starting at $100 for a 16GB Wi-Fi TouchPad and $150 for the 32GB version.
The note doesn't mention orders for the general public. HP has said it plans to go through one last batch of orders in October, but these may be consumed by past orders rather than just by fresh customers.
Separately, the CyanogenMod team in an update has revealed that it has turned on many more core features of Android 2.3 on the TouchPad than at its first attempt just two weeks ago. CyanogenMod 7 now has Wi-Fi working to get online as well as the accelerometer and sound, albeit only from the built-in speakers. The touchscreen, USB, and graphics acceleration had already been added.
Some features still need to reach CM7 before it can be considered truly ready. Battery life reporting, Bluetooth, the camera, the compass, and the gyroscope all currently don't work. The team has insisted as before that it doesn't set estimated timeframes and can't say when these might be fixed.