updated 12:10 pm EDT, Mon May 30, 2011
HP TouchPad dated for June 12 in leaked sheet
A pair of leaks on Monday may have given out HP's plans to launch the TouchPad. A QuickSpecs sheet for the webOS tablet is dated June 12, suggesting that it's at least when the tablet will be announced, if not when it ships. The sheet is designed for corporate buyers and likely needed at the same time, PreCentral said.
Retailers may not all line up at the same time. A Walmart source from the same site showed the TouchPad in the chain's inventory system in a clue as to an imminent launch and the 32GB version costing $598 at the store. OfficeMax, however, is showing its own retail date as July 17. The supplier is regularly late on technology launches, however, and it may just be on the tail end of retail launches.
Publicly, HP has talked of a June release but has never said when or narrowed down pricing. Most expect the 9.7-inch slate to start at the same $499 for a 16GB model as the iPad 2 with Wi-Fi. Rumors have persisted of 3G and possibly 4G versions shipping later on in the year attached to US carriers like AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.
The plans to hit major retail chains should be vital for HP, which has to compete against Apple's wide network for the iPad and also has to face a similar network for the BlackBerry PlayBook.