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A wild Android TouchPad has appeared!
Pair of leaked tablets hit the internet as enthusiast rush to finish streamlined port

When Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQeffectively killed webOS, dropping its struggling TouchPad tablet and Pre smartphones, it unwittingly sparked riotous popularity for its defunct platform.  Selling for as low as $85 USD for the 16 GB TouchPad and $120 USD for the 32 GB tablet (with coupon codes), the clearance priced tablets saw the massive surge of interest and appreciation that they sadly never experienced during their short product life.

With webOS on tablets and smartphones going the way of the dinosaur, attention has turned to porting Google Inc.'s (
GOOG) Android operating system to the TouchPad, which features a dual-core CPU and hearty 1 GB of RAM.  Unfortunately, Google's official tablets source -- Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" -- is closed for now, but HackNMod has offered a $1,500 prize (since bumped to $2,100) to port parts of other Android operating systems (e.g. Android 2.3 "Gingerbread") to the device.

Now a tablet has 
popped up on eBay Inc.'s (EBAY) auction site, which claims to be running Android 2.2.1 "Froyo".  The tablet appears to come from a Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) collaborative project with HP.  It flashes "Qualcomm Innovation Center (Quic)" when loading.

The seller has posted a pair of videos [
1][2] to YouTube as proof of his claims.

The tablet auction ends in 2 and a half days and is currently sitting pretty at $710 USD.  

Whatever fortunate soul who wins the option could do a ROM dump if they were kind, opening the TouchPad Android to the masses, and potentially snagging the HackNMod bounty.  

However, Shahzeb Jiwani may have beat the eventual buyer to the punch.  He somehow obtained an Android TouchPad of his own and has 
reportedly dumped a ROM to RootzWiki.  There's currently an active thread of people working to finish making the ROM ready for easy installation by non hardware-hacker sorts.

The good news, is that with this ground work in place, the TouchPad should be in prime position for porting Android 3.5 "Ice Cream Sandwich", when Google 
merges the tablet and smartphone trees and opens the source later this year.





“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads







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