Best Buy Stuck with a Stockpile of HP Tablets Nobody Wants

True story: I ventured down to my local Best Buy and stood in line the day Apple launched it's iPad 2. It was a longer line than the one I waited in during the original iPad's launch, and this time around, Best Buy employees tried their hardest to create a buzz for a product that really doesn't need it. There were excited pre-release announcements over the PA, there was music, and there was a blue-shirted employee standing on top of a ladder yelling to the crowd in an attempt to drum up excitement. It was over the top, and it was unnecessary for a product that virtually sells itself because, let's face it, Apple knows how to market itself.

What's my point? Well, maybe Best Buy should bottle up all that energy and use it on other tablets. Case in point: AllThingsDigital is reporting that the electronics chain is sitting on a huge pile of Hewlett Packard TouchPad tablets, and hardly anyone's buying them up. Even after the recent $50 price cut, which itself speaks volumes about the demand for TouchPads (or lack thereof), Best Buy is having trouble moving these slates.

Citing "one source who has seen internal HP reports," AllThingsD reports Best Buy signed for 270,000 TouchPad devices, but has only managed to move around 25,000 out the door. That's less than 10 percent, and according to another source, even that 25,000 figure is "charitable."

As the story goes, Best Buy is none too happy that all these tablets are taking up valuable shelf and warehouse space that could otherwise be occupied by products that actually sell. Best Buy wants HP to take them back, while HP wants the chain to give it a bit more time. It's such a big issue that a high level HP exec is traveling to Minneapolis to discuss the situation with Best Buy.

In case you're wondering, the TouchPad runs $400 for the 16GB version and $500 for the 32GB model. Had you picked one up in June when it first launched, you would have paid $500 and $600 for the same models, respectively.