HP introduced the Veer, Pre3, and TouchPad one year ago today | webOS Nation
 
 

HP introduced the Veer, Pre3, and TouchPad one year ago today 43

by Derek Kessler Thu, 09 Feb 2012 4:19 pm EST

This time last year, Derek, Dieter, and Riz were running around San Francisco's Fort Mason Center covering what turned out to be the biggest planned event in the history of webOS. It was the coming out party for webOS under HP, and it came to be known as "Think Beyond." One year ago, HP SVP and Palm Global Business Unit manager Jon Rubinstein got up on the stage to introduce, in order, the tiny HP Veer smartphone, the HP Pre3 - larger, thinner, and more powerful webOS smartphone that the faithful had been waiting for - and the first webOS tablet, the HP TouchPad, all slated by the end of Summer 2011

That day brought more than hardware announcements. We got our first look at webOS 3.0 on the TouchPad, met the new VP of Developer Relations Richard Kerris, found out that HP was not going to update older handsets to webOS 2.0, and said goodbye to the Palm brand. Things were looking up - even if the TouchPad wasn't a mind-blowing piece of hardware, it was the first of what we hoped would be several products to take the market by storm.

The Veer shipped to middling reviews in May and the TouchPad followed in July. And then everything went downhill from there. After just a month on the market, HP cut the TouchPad's price by $100, and ten days after that pulled the rug out from under the webOS community by canceling all webOS hardware development. Since then we've gone through a hardware fire sale, a fired CEO, the loss of Kerris, Rubinstein, and many others, questions about the future of the platform, and emerged on the other side with plans for going open source with a new Open webOS.

My, what a year it has been.

43 Comments

I remember skipping class and looking at 3 live live blogs on two computers. Vivia Webos!

It's amazing to think back at all the anticipation and heart ache over the last year.

I'll keep at it as long as my Franken Pre2 and Touchpad keep chugging along.

Yup, I am still with my Sprint Pre- and Touchpad. One of these days I will find someone who can do franken pre2, then I am set for another couple of years.

You can do a Franken Pre 2. Seriously, it's not that hard. http://www.precentral.net/sprint-pre-2-frankenpre-conversion-gets-pictor...

Thanks Derek, I will have to try.

I didn't get any work done that day. Of course the Palm mystique had me at "Visor Neo." Now I own two Pre Plus phones, three Veers (they ain't making any more ya know) and my Pre2 and Touchpad have extra cases and chargers. Some might say I need help; I'm REALLY gonna need help when I run out of parts :/

While everyone is coming out with new phones and apps, Web OS just has memories to reflect upon. I was ready for a phone upgrade a year ago and was excited for the new products. A year has passed and I still have my pre- and still angry that HP sank the ship.

And I'm still using my Pre 3.

So **** you HP.

I am still using my Sprint Pre also.

I wonder, how many Pre users are still out there.

Anyone want to chime in.

I am #1.

Add on if you feel like it. I should count the guy here at my job that I just told about Homebrew and WebOSNation.

Still here with my launch day Sprint Pre- and my launch day 32GB Touchpad.

I don't think I'll make it past June without replacing the phone, though. I'm not changing providers, so I can't get a Pre 3. The Touchpad should still be good for a few years, though.

Still two in the family since June 2009 (except for a brief two months of Evo).

Still using my Sprint Pre. It's slowly wearing down, so I bought another one on Ebay plus a Sprint Pixi. I would have bought a Pre2 to frankenpre, but didn't have the funds on my very tight budget. My hubby (an Android User) says I have it bad and need help.

I bet most of you guys have the same feeling about hardware.

I own 2 pre-, a TP, plan to have another one to backup, plan to have a pre2 also.

I have batteries replacement for my pres and 3 touchstone, 1 for my office and 2 for home (for the pre of my wife and me)

WebOS has changed my life, at the end of this year I need to have at least two pre2 to feel fine.

We desperately need new hardware .

Still using my Pre-, by choice.

And still shaking my head at the trail of wreckage that has ensued in the past year. At least some of the most recent developments have shown a tiny bit of hope for what webOS might become in the future.

Still on a Pixi+, still want a Veer to retire the Pixi with.

so do I!!!! I want a Veer so bad!! But I'll keep my current Pixi Plus anyway!

Finally retired my Sprint Pre and bought a Veer on Ebay just this past week. I'm actually impressed. Webos does what I always thought it should do and runs smooth. So far, ATT has better coverage tha Sprint.Why did I wait so long to do this? PRE3 would have been better, but that's life in WEBOS World.

I'm reading and commenting on this story from my HP Touchpad, with my pre- still being used as a WiFi device in my house. I also have Pre3 that is waiting to be activated. I remember being so excited this day. How things have changed, though I think things are finally looking up for webOS.

I wonder how different this year would have been if just:

1) Delivered the promised WebOS 2.0 upgrade to Pre-/+ users.

This decision alone caused a huge exodus of Pre fans. No one expected HP to release every new feature on an older phone. Most customers just wanted some new usability features and for their phone, for another year, to be compatible with "most" of the new Mixed-Mojo-PDK and Enyo based applications. I suspect much of the reason for soft sales of the Touchpad were due to vast numbers of once rabid Palm/WebOS fans either swearing off HP, waiting to see if TouchPad would be a hit and/or afraid HP might still be quick to terminate another device.

2) If HP would have smoothed over the transition from Mojo to Enyo by deploying Enyo on existing devices.

The irony is that we now know that Enyo runs fine on old Pre's as WebOsInternals and HP's own mapping application can both attest. As no existing hardware could run Enyo applications and no Enyo compatible hardware yet existed there was no motivation for developers to port their applications. With the viability of the platform and Mojo in question many developers abandoned new development in favor other mobile operations systems. A commitment from HP to deploy Enyo on existing devices could have helped adoption of the new API and the TouchPad could have had many more apps when it was released.

3) Released the Pre3 before the Veer.

I don't care how much Ruby loves his Veer but the Veer was a niche phone. All the Manny Ads were wasted on the wrong phone. Too many customers just "Veered" away. Had HP released the Pre3 stronger phone sales could have helped stabilize WebOS market which due to the above two issues was dying fast.

4) Released the Pre3 (or anything) soon after Think Beyond.

If HP could have just released anything (even the Veer) soon after the Think Beyond conference would have saved us all from months filled with "in the coming months" jokes and developers would have hardware that their new Enyo ported applications could have run on. Enyo introduced a "chicken and the egg" scenario and the only way out was the abandoned existing hardware because the "in the coming months" hardware was gonna need plenty of existing stable apps on release day to be successful.

5) Made good on the promises to have 100s or 1000s of application for the Touchpad on release day.

HP said again and again that apps were in the works and promised to build app for companies sitting on the fence. Again due to all the above problems it was impossible to deliver.

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After using Palm devices for over 10 years it's sad to see it reduced to just a application development toolkit. It's cool that Enyo applications can run on iOS, Android or in a web browser. But with Enyo based applications being capable of running on any platform there is no product differentiation to make anyone buy a future "WebOS Tablet" over the better supported competing hardware.

I think you hit it head on here.  As an ex-Palm fan (always hated HP - even more now!) who was both a user and developer, I'd have to agree on all your points - expecially the first one!  It  was as if HP was doing everything it could to pisss off users and small developers alike.

Good points.
I) was bad but don't think webos users had the time to get pissed off yet or realized that they weren't getting upgraded yet.
2) true enough
3) Absolutely true. The carriers refused pre3 because of the timing of release. Many carriers were starting to get 4G devices and even a very good webos 3G one wasn't going to excite them.
4) Yes. Having the manta (the slab keyboard-less phone) would have been crucial to attract the general smartphone consumers.
5) yes but having touchpad running smooth and fast and stably from day one was even more crucial. It took a month to be good. HP didn't get the big name developers aboard and didn't leverage their clout. e.g. netflix, hulu, barnes and noble.

I remember them saying hundreds of apps were coming from HP engineer developers but only a few apps were ever released.

I hope there is a 3rd life for webos. Probably better execution would have meant still a small marketshare and a need for drastic strategy change but Leo was still a moron for euthanizing the palm hardware division without full assessment.

Going from Think Beyond to think back in the day depresses me. DIAF Leo!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. That was an exciting day and long-time Palm/webOS supporters were hopeful for the future - the long drought after the Palm acquisition by HP would lead to a pipeline full of webOS products that would lead to mainstream success.

Unfortunately, we know how the story ended and turned into a nightmare - Leo cancelled all hardware and decimating the storied Palm legacy.

It would seem that the fortune of the former Palm unit has hit bottom and is recovering but the third act has yet to be written. Will open-sourcing of webOS be a panacea that leads to a revival of sorts? Or will history show that it was already too late and webOS did a slow-fade into obscurity.

We should know by this time next year - if HP delivers to their open-source plan on time, webOS Internals has a Cyanogenmod style porting effort for webOS to existing non-HP/Palm devices, and OEMs are producing new webOS devices in a year's time, then webOS might have a chance. On the other hadn, if Open webOS is released and ignored by apathetic OEMs and only used by a few loyal holdouts, then it will be a footnote in the history of mobile computing.

Given Palm's proud history as a mobile pioneer dating back to the original Palm Pilot, I hope that webOS survives and has a bright future.

I have 3 Pre's - one that is operational and 2 for spare parts - hope to keep it alive for a few more years!

The TouchPad is now part of my daily routine - love it but sure wish I had a Pre 3 to synchronize it with!

Testing my ability to now post - love the new look

I remember. HP skipped CES so we were all long awaiting the Feb 9 date for something big. I was out of town for work at a client site and was tuning in via live webcast for the update. And like everyone else, was so dismayed to learn that we'd have to wait until late summer for Pre3!!! So goes the webOS woes...

From a positive view point, this is the anniversary of the present-gen webOS hardware announcement. From a negative stand point, this is anniversary of where the Leo-associated-slow-motion-train-wreck started tumbling down the hill.

I am surprised how many people here are still using Sprint Pres with their Touchpads. Count me in, too.

Grand Opening. Grand Closing.

I wanted the Pre 3 so bad :( I still do!
Neither iOS or Android were as intuitive to use as WebOs.

I want the Veer so bad! (i currently own a Palm Pixi Plus).. My parents don't want to buy me out of the contract & go to At&t.. (Yes I'm 13!) I LOVE webOS!!! I'm the only kid @ my school that has a webOS phone... In terms of webOS, I felt really alone & the kids have iPhones @ my school.. I joined this site & found I'm not alone! :))

Also, is it bad that I'm on an older Palm-branded webOS phone and not upgraded yet? Cause from the things I hear, they make it' sound like it is...

no it isn't. I am on a pre- and very happy :)

nice :D it's nice that I'm not the only one :))

I have a Veer and a Pre-. On Verizon, so looking at a Pre 2. The thing that gives me hope is the open source potential for porting to newer hardware.

umm this is a random unrelated question, it may make me sound stupid, but has HP/Palm sued Apple for the vibrate/ringer switch on the iPhone 4/4s? Cause I thought HPalm had a patent on that... (i also remember seeing one on a friend's android phone)

This is so sad. Yes, I remember a year ago and reading PreCentral's live posts as the event was occurring. Very excited for the triple threat: Veer, Pre3, and Touchpad! I had 3 different Palm phones and then the Pre minus on Sprint, then converted to a Sprint Franken Pre 2 late last summer. I then bought 4 firesale Touchpads for the family.....but then they pulled the plug on webOS and I could no longer hold out hope that the Pre 3 would ever be mine.....so that was long enough, I couldn't wait any longer. :-(

When Sprint got the new iPhone, I reluctantly pulled the plug on webOS....the Franken Pre 2 was just too buggy and the iPhone beckoned. In fact, that led me to go all in and swapped my PC for a new iMac. Now I'm looking forward to getting the iPad 3.

So, how did this happen?! Even with everything tricked out with Homebrew, I just couldn't deal with the bugs and troubles and, because I rely on my mobile phone and sync to my computer for my business (I drive around all day seeing clients), I had to get something that--I hate to say it--"just works." The iPhone and iMac with iCloud has made me a very happy man, indeed. (Nice not having to deal with Google/gmail, too.)

But....I DO MISS the webOS user interface!!! The best in the business! Form factor on the Pre, too. But I couldn't justify the obsolete gear anymore and it didn't look like it was really going anywhere.

Hopefully, a webOS-like UI will come to Apple's stuff someday, but I do miss the excitement of webOS development and the great community here.

I guess this now makes me one of the dreaded "trolls," and I apologize. I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, I just impulsively checked this site after being on "iMore" (absolutely terrible name!) for a bit, and saw this thread and it brought back some nice memories.

Take care and good luck everyone here at webOS Nation! Wish I could sell or even give away my Frankenpre, but I guess it's impossible to use if you didn't create it. Might have to frame it and put it on the mantle, perhaps on a Touchstone (when the hell are the other companies going to copy THAT, anyway--hello?!) with the time and weather running or something for old time's sake...

Thanks for everything, PreCentral/webOS Nation!

I agree with you completely when you said "when are other companies gonna copy THAT)... Windows Phone & damn Android 4.0 copied swipeable notifications, card like multi tasking, & tons of other things! Well they both improved by COPYING webOS, but Android still (as always) somehow turns some good ideas into something feeling messy & unituitive... So f*** Android & the Apple/Android/Windows Phone/BB fanboys are gonna have to pry this Pixi Plus out of my cold, dead hands

I agree with you completely when you said "when are other companies gonna copy THAT)... Windows Phone & damn Android 4.0 copied swipeable notifications, card like multi tasking, & tons of other things! Well they both improved by COPYING webOS, but Android still (as always) somehow turns some good ideas into something feeling messy & unituitive... So f*** Android & the Apple/Android/Windows Phone/BB fanboys are gonna have to pry this Pixi Plus out of my cold, dead hands

I agree with you completely when you said "when are other companies gonna copy THAT)... Windows Phone & damn Android 4.0 copied swipeable notifications, card like multi tasking, & tons of other things! Well they both improved by COPYING webOS, but Android still (as always) somehow turns some good ideas into something feeling messy & unituitive... So f*** Android & the Apple/Android/Windows Phone/BB fanboys are gonna have to pry this Pixi Plus out of my cold, dead hands

I agree with you completely when you said "when are other companies gonna copy THAT)... Windows Phone & damn Android 4.0 copied swipeable notifications, card like multi tasking, & tons of other things! Well they both improved by COPYING webOS, but Android still (as always) somehow turns some good ideas into something feeling messy & unituitive... So f*** Android & the Apple/Android/Windows Phone/BB fanboys are gonna have to pry this Pixi Plus out of my cold, dead hands

I agree with you completely when you said "when are other companies gonna copy THAT)... Windows Phone & damn Android 4.0 copied swipeable notifications, card like multi tasking, & tons of other things! Well they both improved by COPYING webOS, but Android still (as always) somehow turns some good ideas into something feeling messy & unituitive... So f*** Android & the Apple/Android/Windows Phone/BB fanboys are gonna have to pry this Pixi Plus out of my cold, dead hands

errrr sorry for posting mutiple times /;

Have Verizon Pre 2, just bought another Pre 2 in case mine goes out, and picked up a used Touchpad from someone who didn't know how to doctor theirs after a failed attempt at loading Cyanogen. (I didn't swindle them, they already bought a Transformer Prime and shelved it.)

Come what may.