The promise of a cheap high-quality dual-core Android tablet may seem a little farfetched right now, but thanks to HP, it’s becoming a reality. When Hewlett-Packard announced they’d be killing off hardware production for webOS devices, they initiated a fire sale in which 16GB TouchPads were selling for as little as $99. Once the right people in the Android community had their hands on one, a project was started to bring a full port of Android to what could soon be dubbed the HD2 of tablets. A dual-booting beast with webOS and Android working harmoniously side-by-side.
More than one TouchPad (two to be exact) has been unboxed and turned on only to find Android running as the main OS. As bizarre as that sounds, there’s actually a rather simple explanation behind it. You see, Qualcomm manufactures the processor inside the HP TouchPad. When the Android-running TouchPads first boot up, a QuIC (Qualcomm Innovation Center) logo appears. Apparently, some developers at the Qualcomm Innovation Center were testing Android on the TouchPad, and some of those test units made it into Best Buy’s stock.
One of those Android-running TouchPads has been put on eBay. The current high bid has exceeded $800. A different TouchPad that has been discovered with Android is being put to use in the TouchDroid (.pdf link) project. The lucky fellow who opened the TouchPad has dumped the ROM from the device and uploaded it to RootzWiki for dissection. While there is no flashable ROM just yet, you can bet this will help immensely in the creation of one.
How many of you have been lucky enough to get a TouchPad? Will you be running Android on it once a ROM is made available? Hopefully, it won’t be long now.