It's been a long and winding road for HP's Slate 500. First announced at CES in January, HP was quiet about a release date for the product and it was eventually shelved, only to be revived a few months later as a enterprise-only device. The company officially launched the Slate 500 last month and it seems demand for the product has taken HP by surprise.
Despite its high price-tag, pre-orders for the $800 Slate have been delayed after HP was hit with "extraordinary demand" for the device. Originally expected to arrive on November 12, customers with pre-orders are reporting word of a 10- to 15-day delay. HP is telling customers that they don't have enough "on-hand stock" to fill orders and have had to reroute orders to manufacturing so they can build more devices.
"Due to high demand on the portable system you have selected we will not be able to fulfill the order from on hand stock, therefore we have routed your order to manufacturing for your product to be built. The average lead time to get these portables ready to ship may vary from 10 to 15 business days."
While a 15-day delay may not sound like much, it's important to note that those receiving such emails from HP ordered their Slates at the earliest opportunity. Ghengis Kent, who received the email above, says he ordered his Slate 500 on October 25, just a few days after HP made the device available for purchase. People ordering today are being told that it will be six weeks before their Slate even ships.
So HP is having problems keeping up with demand for the Slate 500, but just how many people have put in orders for the device? One insider spoke to Engadget and said that HP ordered an initial production run of 5,000 devices but received 9,000 pre-orders. The source said that HP has had to re-hire production workers and is currently attempting to placate angry customers by offering them a discount of over $100.