Just a little math here on losses vs gains.
If HP left the devices on the market at regular price and they all sat there , while HP decided not to continue to make any hardware , the devices value would drop while the price would remain the same , hp would continue to take a continuous loss based on stock levels.
So lets look at it this way.
lets say there is 500,000 16gb versions on the market (worldwide)
and lets say there is 500,000 32gb versions on the market(worldwide)
@99.00 for a 16gb the money coming is would be 4,950,00000.00
@149.00 for the 32 gb the Money coming in would be 7,450,0000.00
The approximate cost for hp to make these is 328.00 ( based on conjecture from some other forum thread).
the 16gb would cost - 1,640,000,000.00
the 32gb would also cost -1,640,000,000.00
Most companies advertising budgets also exceed hundreds of millions of dollars. So throw in say 250 million over the course of 1 year , that may be conservative , but whatever
So hp's loss really is HUGE but not something a company throwing 12 billion away on another company will really notice.
So was this firesale brilliant or stupidity , well stupid comes to mind first for the speed at which is happened , but brilliant in that WebOs is now in atleast 1 million peoples hands , possibly more.
* for someones interest these numbers are not real , just giving a visual thought