HP Only Produced 5,000 Slate Tablets?

Despite the mobile madness surrounding tablet computers and the booming industry ushered in by Apple’s iPad, it doesn’t appear that all tablet-makers will experience similar sales success.

Consumers aside, even the people at HP didn’t seem to have a wealth of confidence in their own product.

“Leaked” data presented this week by the team at Engadget reveals that HP went to production with its HP Slate 500 with a plan to build only 5,000 units.

Demand, however, proved greater than expected as 9,000 orders were ultimately placed. Thanks to the 4,000 unit shortfall, many customers who purchased their Slate after the inventory was depleted are having to wait upwards of six weeks as HP now has to build more Slates – a process that has allegedly required the company to re-hire staff.

Although it’s generally a positive sign when demand outpaces supply, the overall level of interest in the HP Slate 500 is borderline pitiful.

Going to market with 5,000 units – assuming the information gleaned by Engadget is correct – is almost laughable, given that Apple sold better than 46,000 iPads daily during the previous quarter.

So while the public’s appetite for tablets may be substantial, not everything on the menu looks appetizing after all.