HP offers refunds to early webOS adopters

HP's decision to end its webOS hardware division is costing the company big, and its latest gift to early adopters won't do much to help that: the company has confirmed that owners of the TouchPad tablet or Pre3 smartphones will be getting a post-facto discount.

HP hit headlines when it decided to drop the cost of the TouchPad tablet - a 1.2GHz beast of a machine running the company's webOS platform - to just £89, following its decision to end all webOS hardware development.

In the buying rush that followed, many customers walked away with bargain-basement tablets - but, sadly, others were left empty handed, or ended up paying full price at retailers who refused to pass on the discount to those ordering before the official drop.

The move also left a bad taste in the mouths of early adopters, who had paid up to £500 for their devices only to see latecomers get the same hardware with the same future - or lack thereof - for a fraction of the price.

To keep its customers happy - although why, when the company has already confirmed that it's not going to be dealing with those customers in the future, we're not entirely certain - HP has announced that anyone who purchased a TouchPad or a Pre3 will be getting a refund of the difference directly from HP itself.

The deal sees anyone with a 16GB TouchPad receive the difference between their purchase price and the new price of £89, anyone with a 32GB model get the difference to £115, and anyone with a 64GB model get the difference to £159. Pre3 owners - the webOS-based smartphone which was rumoured to be getting a price cut of its own - will get a refund of the difference to £69.

It's a great deal, but there's a catch: while the offer covers early adopters, those who purchased their devices just ahead of the price drop may find themselves left out in the cold. According to HP's official rules on the deal, anyone claiming their refund must have activated their webOS device with a webOS account before the 23rd of August.

As a result, those who ordered their TouchPads just ahead of the price drop on the 22nd of August won't be covered by the deal - which is bad news for those who have purchased from the likes of Play.com, which has confirmed that it won't be offering the refund itself.

Full details of HP's offer are available on the official website.