Six months without the HP Pre3 [editorial] | webOS Nation
 
 

Six months without the HP Pre3 [editorial] 217

by Derek Kessler Wed, 10 Aug 2011 3:35 pm EDT

Think back a little ways. Now think back a bit longer, all the way to February 9th, 2011. It was the day we’ve come to refer to as “Think Beyond,” where HP introduced the Veer and Pre3 smartphones and the first webOS tablet – the HP TouchPad. While the Veer and TouchPad have seen their public debuts, with the TouchPad most recently hitting the market a little over a month ago, the Pre3 is still missing in action. Well, technically it’s more AWOL than MIA – you actually have to make it to the battlefield first. Why’s this a problem? Because Think Beyond was six months ago.

Six months is an eternity in the fast moving world of the modern cell phone. In the past six months, Nokia hooked up with Microsoft who had also unleashed the Mango update to Windows Phone 7, Research in Motion renamed BlackBerry 6.1 to 7.0 and released a slew of new phones and the PlayBook, and approximately eighteen thousand new Android phones were announced and released. That’s not to mention the iOS ecosystem, where Apple previewed iOS 5 but didn’t release an updated iPad or iPhone, yet still managed to secure the lion’s share of headlines.

HP, on the other hand, released the Veer to underwhelming reviews and we suspect poor sales, and the TouchPad to the same. Through it all, we’ve been hearing the ongoing cry from the webOS community: “We want the Pre3!”

We hear you, and we’re sure HP hears you, but HP needs to hear this too: more than six months from announcement to release is a recipe for disappointment. We know the Pre3 isn’t going to have received any hardware updates in this time (the original Pre sure as heck didn’t), so this six months has been spent focusing on the TouchPad and polishing the Pre3’s software so webOS 2.2 is perfect for release, right?

So here we are, six months after the Pre3 was announced. It’s gone from a powerhouse phone that would have been at the lead of the smartphone pack in specifications and performance to a phone that is still high-end, but not carrier flagship material. The non-release of the Pre3 to this point has felt more like the Palm of old and much like HP (whom we’ve seen flex their scale muscle to with the TouchPad).

The Pre3 was a contender back in February. Now we’re not so sure. We’re not going to go so far as to declare the Pre3 dead-on-arrival as some others have – we certainly still want one and we know many of you do as well – but unless HP pulls out some sort of pricing and marketing miracle, it’s also not going to be the rebirth of the webOS smartphone that we’ve been waiting more than two years for.

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217 Comments

Think Beyond - HP Pre3 is beyond late.

We wanted "HP's scale".

We got it.

The disapointments and mis-steps, magnitudes greater than what Palm was capable of.

Feels like the pre2...bet we see it in France first :(

Pre3 at this point is DOA. Heck it looks like WebOS is DOA now.

HP needed to get product out. They needed phones ready to go at think beyond, that could have helped create a base to buy touchpad (ex. apple, iphone then ipad).

They needed to kill Pre name, they could keep pre form factor, but they need a slab with virtual keyboard too.

What they really need is one person who knows what the h*ll they are doing to take charge. Just so frustrating.

HP will never be accused of PREmature ejaculation.

They also need developers. If you are a developer looking to write for an unproven platform, you will be very sensitive to signs of the platform's future support and success before committing your effort.

Microsoft has a huge advantage here - despite the small market share of WP7, developers know that Microsoft is behind it, that they can execute on software updates and provide great tools for development.

What does the WebOS developer have to look forward to? Most of the customer base stranded on 1.4.5 with no upgrade path, the only new phone on the market is the underwhelming Veer, the Touchpad uses a new API, and the Pre3 seems to be dying of Carrier neglect.

For how much longer will there be ANY WebOS phone market? People won't stay on their 1.4.5 devices forever.

I might ;) Android has some very appealing features but my cracked Sprint Pre- is still much more usable for me than even the newest high-end Android phones. I was considering switching to the HTC Evo 3D and I just couldn't do it. I love WebOS. If the cracks on my screen get bad enough that the touch screen stops working, I may even pay $100 deductible to get a replacement for this ancient device. At least I wouldn't have to pay another $10/month for that. Even if the Pre3 came to Sprint (and we know it won't), I'm not sure I'd get it because the hardware is already so outdated and it'd probably be very over-priced and I'd have to pay another $10/month.

HP has made such a trainwreck of webOS. Like so many others, I am infuriated about it everyday. The future looks bleak. There are a few chances to save it. If HTC or Samsung started making webOS phones, the OS would survive. If HP actually put out decent phone and tablet hardware and priced it right to start (maybe $100 for a high-end phone and $300 for a high-end tablet), they might get devices in enough hands to drive demand for developers to bring the apps.

Anyway as I said, at this point they'll have to cut my Sprint Pre- from my cold dead hand. Ancient and slow as it is, it still makes me happy like no other.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Except you'll find that when you pay that $100 deductible, you won't get a Palm Pre. Sprint and their insurance company that does phone replacements no longer carries Palm Pre's. When my Pre broke a few months ago, and I tried to get a refurbished one by paying my $100 deductible, the only replacement phone they offer you is the HTC Hero.

Good luck with that. So when that Pre finally dies, Android welcomes you.

Specifically, what can your Pre- do that the best new Android phones can't or what usefulness does it provide that the Androids don't?

When some of us said this would happen six months ago, all the toadies said we were wrong. Too little and too late. Again, this is no different than what they did with their line of digital cameras. Go get an Evo 3D or Photon. Sure, there was a time to have a webos phone and be the smart one in the crowd, but now it is just as pathetic as those still hugging their commodore 64s. Not cool. Very Pathetic.

Its sad to see HP with the cash piles, hardware experience, and a great OS not able to pull off something as simple as a good phone. As this article stated they are easily 6months behind the pack and will continue to stay that way. I still have my Palm Pre Plus, but I am switching to a Mango PHone or iPhone5 in the near future. I can't stand HP's lack of hardware and no pipeline to give me any optimism. They lost another customer, whom ever runs the hardware department should be fired.

Take a ideas from Motorola (how they started to turn around), HTC (who pumps out phones), Samsung (who makes a few extreme high quality phones).. **** watch NOKIA turn themselves around in the US.

HP you have the best mobile OS, and possibly the worst management. You are easily 6month if not more behind the competition and have no future of catching up at your current rate. Good luck maybe 4-5 years down the road you'll have me back as a customer, until than goodbye.

You're jumping the gun on Nokia there. Nokia is bleeding marketshare right now and who knows if Mango can save it.

IMO, Mango & the entire MS ecosystem will save it. MS isn't going anywhere & has boatloads of cash to throw at it.

Plus, my wife has a Samsung Focus & I put the Mango beta on it. Simply put, it's an outstanding OS.

"MS isn't going anywhere & has boatloads of cash to throw at it."

Put "HP" in place of "MS" and you still have a 100% accurate statement. We see how well that's working out...

M.

Except Microsoft already has the developer support and still has issues gaining traction, so that should tell you something about the battle Palm/HP is facing.

At least MS looks like they know how to run a marathon. HP seems to be determined to cross the line last while losing their bowels.

I don't know if WP7 will ever break into common use, but I do know that Microsoft will give it a great try. I can't say the same for HP.

I would say MS isn't as incompetent as HP in this business. Palm mishandled webOS and now HP is doing so badly. Palm created a fantastic product then mishandled it to its own demise. HP bought it and there was great hope until people saw what HP was doing which is basically making it irrelevant.

MS made a mistake in being late to market, but their product is good. They courted the right people (HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia) so they have a lot of good quality phones out there. There's plenty of support for WP7 (their app market is 5x the HP one right now) and there's plenty of WP7 phones coming... they have a flood of Nokia phones on the horizon.

HP has one phone coming. Their appmarket isn't growing at all anymore. Why would their app market grow? Most of the webOS users are on a OS version that's not supported any more.

I still haven't seen some key points mentioned. MS has windows which dominates the computer market. MS has Office which dominates that market. Xbox. Bing. Maps. And the list goes on. All things MS can leverage that people need and want in a mobile device. The pieces have been laying around for years for MS to put together. The only crime is in how long it's taken them.

In contrast, HP has many services of its own to leverage. Services people need and want to use in mobile devices. Services such as... Such as... Ummm... Well... **** .

I've got nothing. Let's just go back to webOS being able to visually multitask.

MS and WinMO is garbage.

They haven't made a good operating system since windows XP and its no surprise that the entire corporate world is still on xp.

People use windows 7 because that came with the pc and they don't know any better.

Nokia had some good commercials, and some good phones that mostly never came out here.

Really? Windows 7 is far and above Win XP. I've used OS/X, Ubuntu, and Windows. Windows 7 is not bad at all. How much have YOU used it?

Your post is just wrong. Windows 7 and WP7 are both great products. I don't know anyone who has used either who wasn't impressed.

Don't forget the Nokia partnership brings a huge European retail network and Navteq and Ovi Maps. Try out the Ovi Maps 3D beta on Windows, it blows away Google Earth in pure eyecandy.

Mango may "save" Nokia in the US, it will kill it everywhere else.

Sorry, RIM has worst management. No question there. Crippled devices with marginally improved hardware and delusional co-ceo's. RIM>> HP in bad management.

RIM had simple strategies that worked. Similar to Palm, they didn't grow their base after being complacent. HP, is flat out bad. Bloated, slow, mis-guided, arrogant, over confident, profit-starved and somehow, losing market share the harder they try. HP comes up with great concepts, but never figures out how to implement. HP is a commodity-wholesaler, not an innovator. The only thing they've invented in the last year is new ways to deliver loyal customers to Android.

Veer, the phone for the people that found Pre too big?

Touchpad, priced and equipped like apple, but not an apple.

Are we really waiting for a 3G phone with only a half gig of RAM and no expandable memory. Really? I mean, REALLY?

And now HP's attention will swing from phones and tablets, over to a PC oriented WebOS 4.

Everybody on. I think that's what they said when the Titanic launched.

"Everybody on. I think that's what they said when the Titanic launched."

lol

OMG too funny!

Pre3 will be 4G.

"Everybody on. I think that's what they said when the Titanic launched."

Dude, that was awesome. haha!

I agree, except I think the Veer has some good ideas in it. You will too when Apple releases a mini iPhone that sells like crazy.

The difference will be that Apple will go after the featurephone market by making the carriers offer it with discounted plans. People will be able to get the mini iPhone with a $45 plan that includes voice, text and data. Apple would never be stupid enough to try to sell it with the same $90/month plan that the iPhone requires.

Oh yeah, WebOS on PCs. This is the stupidest idea ever. Let's make a javascript widget engine for desktop PCs to compete with the widgets that come built-in with the OS and no one cares about. Brilliant.

I'm really getting frustrated here. I own and operate a small business and when we've got a good idea, we get going on it and in a few weeks it's reality. I realize that a big company like HP is going to be slower, but with the enormous resources they have at their disposal I've gotta wonder what's going on here.

Who is at the helm here and what do they actually do to earn their pay? If I gave a project to one of my people and nothing happened for this long it would cleraly mean I chose the wrong person for the job or that the jpb isn't doable, or worth doing. We all know that getting a new phone out in a timely manner is doable thing, other companies do it all the time. Most of us believe webOS is worth doing, so I have to conclude that the people in charge are ineffective, or not being given the resources they need.

Or, is there some other plan here and if so why don't they let us all know? Give us hope and don't worry about giving away industry secrets because the last 3 phones launched were already behind the times when announced and way behind at launch.

I've fired people for way smaller delayd than we're seeing here! HP, maybe you need to clean house and get some people who are efficient managers.

just sayin...

It will be over in 2 years. The last six months of it will be a promised phone that never arrives.

Maybe they'll skip the Pre3 and just release the Pre4 already?! :P

Or maybe they'll just release the Pre3 and I'll be a loyal (though again slightly disappointed) WebOS fan

Seems like Derek is trying very hard to not call it DOA.

It cant be DOA, until it arrives.

Quote of the week.

Ok, it's DBA.

ha agreed

yeah, just a plain case of a miscarriage, through non-delivery, for 4 months after estimated birth date. Heck, someone should tell them to do some forced induction, break the waters or maybe try C-section.

Wait, we did tell them, did we?

Last thing we need is another PREemie,

No, that was the Veer..

its a dev phone
oh, wait till ces

OK HP said Summer. It's still summer. BUT, they better release the Pre 3 on Verizon and AT&T while it's still summer or they will have missed the boat. Also, while the processor rumors of a dual core seem to be just that, it would be golden if they did upgrade the processor.

Sorry for breaking the news, but Pre 3 has already loooong missed its boat. When I read "summer" after "Think Beyond", it made me groan. They needed it out back then, WEEKS after "Think Beyond" - see Motorola Atrix et al. Now it will have to swim agains the tide, to sell at all.

...so what, that they have said "summer", if it was wrong decision all the way? What HP says, turns into reality? Heck, I guess if they have said "5 years from now" in Feb, you would be as glad?

Are you guys really still waiting for this phone? I loved webOS like no other OS but already enjoying a dual core, clocked at 2GHz, 1GB RAM, 3D capable, HDMI out capable Android phone that does a million things better than the yet-to-be-released Pre3.

Not to mention the lack of valuable apps on webOS. I stopped drinking the kool-Aid months ago.

I made the switch from my launch Pre minus to the HTC Evo 3d almost exactly a month ago and boy does it feel good to have some fresh tech and a mature app market. Now after saturating myself in the tech specs of every Android flagship device on the market (or coming to market), I'd like to know what frickin future super device are you sportin that has a 2GHz, dual core processor? I mean, cause that doesn't exist yet in the world of mobile phones. I'm betting you have the HTC Evo 3d, like me, which has a 1.2GHz, dual core Snapdragon. Also you mentioned 3d and the EVO 3d is currently the only 3d phone on the market in the US. Amiright?

...webOS is NOT the only system on the market that allows overclocking. Hint: Android has OC kernels, too (and quite extreme ones for that)....

well I am using Sammy Galaxy s2 now, have used HTC Desire S for a while (still have regular access to it), but to say I am "enjoying" it, it would be a great overstatement. HTC build quality is epic, and it makes it a joy to hold in your hand, yet Android is soooooooo retarded in use, my God...

So yes, I might still buy Pre 3 off contract and give it a shot, as a phone it might be still best for me (if priced competitively, which examples show us might be the case a month-two after a launch date :) ) - although the lack of apps is appalling.

It needed to be ready to ship at "Think Beyond". If they want to BE Apple, they need to release hardware like Apple.

If it isn't out on Sprint, AT&T or Verizon by now it is because they don't want it.

If they don't want it now, they will never want it.

You may be able to buy it unlocked and port it onto a Verizon reseller in the future, but what developer is going to write for THAT market?

its not DOA.. its just DFL.. Dead F**kin Late.. lol

And not releasing it on Sprint is another HUGE fail..

HP didn't spend $1.4 billion dollars buying Palm in order to not release a competitive smartphone in a year. Wait, I guess they did.

Still crazier - HTC is announcing an exclusive deal for Beats Audio in smartphones tomorrow. I thought that HP owned the brand. Does this mean that HP is giving up on high-end smartphones?

http://thisismynext.com/2011/08/10/htc-beats-audio-phones/

I thought HP gave up on high end smartphones back in February.

How do you draw the conclusion that HP is giving up on high-end smartphones from the announcement that HTC is incorporating Beats Audio in phones?

Beats is owned by Dre anyway.

How can HP give up on something they never started? Name one high end HP smartphone.

Can you imagine BEATS on a WebOS phone? Being an audiophile and tripping over the headset bug every other use?

Insane.

I think the U.S. Carriers have given up on WebOS phones.

I wonder if the delay is the need for pre3 2.x webOS to be somewhat compatible with TP's 3.x apps. Hp doesn't want to further fragment a tiny webOS market. Mark Hurd, former CEO of HP, wasn't kidding when he said he didn't buy Palm or WebOS to compete in smartphone market. (paraphrase) HP really wants to have a stake in tablets, smarter printers, even webOS enabled PCs where it can control its own ecosystem.
I don't get why HP can't throw in a new processor in the Pre3 that's competitive and while they're doing that throw in a good slab phone for the masses. **** just buy an htc model and throw webOS in it. Probably could be done in a month.

For everyone else it could be done in a month. For HP's webOS engineers... stay tuned.

ewl88 - Has summed it up correctly the 'ghost' of Mark Hurd is still driving HP. Given the underwhelming release of the Veer and lack of Pre3 HP really does not care about the smart phone market. When just about everyone else is having great growth. 6 months is a lifetime in the smartphone arena. I agree that HP needs to do a processor and memory upgrade to the original Pre3 specs. I have been bugging both HP and Sprint to get the Pre, which is looking less and less likely. My original Pre is still serving me well, but is too far behind to have the greatest apps. I will have to move on soon if HP and Sprint can't get their acts together.
It is a crying shame!

I questioned why HP bought Palm when it was first announced. HP never came to mind when thinking about cell phones.

...yeah, I'd prefer HTC to win that bid, any day of the week. They'd probably get rid of Rubinstein first thing in the morning next, together with all the other lamentable "management", so that's why it wasn't ever on the cards, I guess.

hp you took to damn long and like a lot of webos users out there I switched to an android phone. The longer you take the more I start to like android.

Yeah, I took the plunge on the free Nexus S 4G a week or so ago and while it's not perfect, it's definitely a step up. I'm watching and hoping HP can turn this thing around, but I don't have my hopes up.

They have certainly kicked marketing up a dozen notches from the Palm days though.

Unfortunately I'm in this camp now too. I soaked my beloved Pre- in an unfortunate canoe accident (fat guy in a little boat) and had to make a life changing experience - either buy a used Pre- or upgrade to an Android phone. I ended up settling on a used EVO 4G from Ebay so I can remain off-contract. I have to admit, Android is not bad at all. The EVO is a speedy machine and the incredible customization is pretty cool. Plus, the 4G service in my are absolutely rocks - getting downloads of 3 to 7mbs and uploads of 1.5 to 3mbs.

The Palm/WebOS division of HP is clearly in shambles. The Pre 3 at the time of announcement was barely what most would consider a "high end" device. Especially when you consider the same old reused failed slider design, small screen (both size wise & resolution), and the entire WebOS ecosystem (which is still pretty barebones after years). Why in the world they didnt just scrap that mess & push out an all-touch superphone to coexist with the TouchPad I'll never know. But what do they give us? The craptastic Veer thats basically a slider Pixi. Wow, thanks.

They might as well not even release the Pre 3 at this point. Why bother? For a few remaining diehard fans?? Thats not how you win at this game. Nokia knew it, thats why they killed Symbian/Meego & went with Windows Phone 7.

WebOS is outstanding, but sadly I just don't see it being a success at this point. Way too many blunders along the way. And the big boys (Apple, Google & MS) are already light years ahead, so why in God's name would the guys at HP expect someone to buy into their ecosystem at this point?? Heck, I dont know why any WebOS fans would these days (they've treated us like garbage. .

RIP, WebOS. *tear*

The slider design WORKS, and with a 3.6 inch screen, you could throw a virtual keyboard on there in addition to the physical keyboard. The reason the Pre and Pre Plus did not do better was:
Poor build quality on the original Pre(which was mostly fixed with the Pre Plus)

The somewhat lower specs(though they were competitive even when the Pre Plus launched on Verizon).

The kiss of death though, was poor advertising when it was a Sprint exclusive, and no advertising plus no attempt by Verizon and AT&T to sell the Pre Plus, which DID fix most of the issues with the original Pre.

With no advertising, a device that has a smaller screen and no push to sell it in retail channels will end up with low sales. Stick it in a display case with the keyboard closed so people can't even see it is a slider, and it just won't sell.

HP should have planned to do a CPU upgrade for the Pre 3 even from launch, since it would have been EASY to plan to release the same phone but with a faster or dual-core processor, just replace the CPU in the assembly line, and if it's pin compatible, the build process is identical, so there is no slowdown for re-tooling.

Slider works for you. That's great, but why not a slab option too, since that is they style of the most successful smart phones? People like options and variety.

It's stubborn thinking like this from webOSheep and J. Ruby that lead WebOS off the cliff.

no, I really do think that you are mixing things up - vertical slider has massive advantage(s) over screen-only phones from usability point of view - it is just that these vertical sliders from Palm were never big enough (3.1"), never powerful enough (well, pre- Pre2, at least, but then the screen size & resolution was just laughable at launch day of Pre 2), never has enough screen resolution (my HTC Desire S has 3.7" 480x800 screen, and it is beautiful, and quite beautiful compromise in size/usability, although my Samsung Galaxy S2 is better for reading - but if Desire S was as "snappy" in use as S2 is, I'd be using it, despite smaller SLCD screen), and worse of all - never felt quite solid enough...

I do not think that slider form factor is a looser here, as a concept, not at all - only its bog-standard execution... The only real drawback of slider vs. screen-only hone is thickness, and honestly, with Pre's rounded design, I could not care less if it is twice as thick as my Sammy Galaxy S2, that phone is awfull to hold in your hand or in your pocket, despite being razor thin.

I *really* wanted the Pre 3. I held onto my cracked ailing Sprint Pre as long as I could. I'm a business user in IT and I needed a phone that I could count on to get me through the day. My old beat up Pre fought the good fight but I couldn't wait any longer.

Using a Nexus 4G now. I miss my Pre, but I am pleased I can go nearly 2 days on a charge. Hopefully in 2 years HP will have gotten into the game. Preferably on a carrier I am using. I share the frustration a lot of people feel here over the lack of solid info on this phone.

I did the same. I still have my touchstones around the house and my Plussed Sprint Pre sitting on a random one in airplane mode with wifi on just because I still like to play with it every now and then - not to mention it doubles as a nice clock and it's just flat out easier to read notifications on it - but I'm happy I made the switch.

I'd be even happier if HP got its act together, but I did what I had to do. For now...

I also took a look on the Pre3. But as long as HP announces only a battery life as we know it from past devices this is an absolute no-go. It cannot be that I get hints like "switch to G2" or "turn GPS off" to get through the day. At least 24h with all services turned on is a must-be.

I see my collegues using their iPhones all day.

Geez. I'm the only user at my firm still using a Palm device. I discreetly pull it outta my pocket, whereas my colleagues here "whip out" their iPhones with a smug-like attitude.
- Alas, I shalt not join the masses, and believe in my Pre-

I emailed that POS Leo A. a couple of days ago. Asking for answers regarding his promise, the wait and the silence. Won't be holding my breath waiting for a response from that ****

I am so bummed to admit I am going to an Evo 3D. WebOS, I'm gonna miss you.

I switched to a Droid Incredible2 and haven't missed my Pre at all. There's an app in the Market that installs a very nice wave launcher just like webOS. I recommend it when you switch.

I never used the wave launcher on webos. I never saw the point of it. However, I've tried any and all Android apps that I can find to try to mimic webOS multitasking/cards and as far as I can tell, none of them actually work, especially not on Honeycomb (3.1). In under 3 weeks, I've found 280+ cool Android apps for my tablet but it's friggin' unstable and apps crash all the time and I'm not happy with the multitasking and the cursor jumps around so much when entering text that it's almost unusable (at least with Swype 3.0 beta but I think I have some of that even with the Android keyboard too).

I began to "think beyond" HP. I use an Android phone now. LOVE WebOS, but it was so frustrating towards the end for me. I hope it makes it though. I would gladly return. That said, I am very happy with Android.

I hope they Bundle it with the TouchPad or something.

moderators, please move or close this.

lol

lol, the truth hurts. I know it hurts me and my Pre+.

lmao

Thank you Derek.

This needed to be said.

I have been a Palm fan since I bought my Treo 300. I am a WebOS fan. I think it is the best operating system out there. But lets face it, HP bought Palm for there intellectual property thats it. At this point I seriously doubt that the Pre3 will ever make it to market. If it does, that will be the last smartphone HP launches. I am still going with my original Palm Pre from Sprint purchased on the 1st day. When I get tired of f'in around waiting for a new WebOS device on Sprint I will switch to Android on Sprint.
Everyone, it is time to wake up and say goodbye to the best operating system out there.

Until HP officially scraps WebOS (be it through verbal or written means), then I cannot give up on what I believe is the best mobile OS on the market right now. Just can't.

"...the best mobile OS BARELY on the market right now."

There. Fixed that for you.

Why is the WebOS team always so late with things? Is it something to do with the way the OS is written? Is it management issues? Hardware procurement issues? Is it a few key individuals?

Seriously, LATE has been the one consistent element to the whole WebOS experience, ever since Palm started talking about their great next new mobile OS!

My feeling is that the underlying framework for webOS is underdeveloped. When people around here say that webOS is "hands down" the best mobile OS, they are really simply commenting on the user interface. Basically, you like the skin.

Fine. However, the underpinnings of webOS is underdeveloped for the rapid pace of innovation that Apple has set with iOS being based on something like 15 years of Mac OS infrastructure. The reason why webOS can't bring along older devices is that they have to change the underpinnings of the OS to add features.

Just the idea of the PDK is flawed. You basically are telling developers that they must bypass the OS to plug in their game code. The reason why it takes webOS platform developers so long is that they are having to develop infrastructure that has existed in other established operating systems for years.

Now that iOS and Android have humongous economies of scale - they can afford to put exponentially more resources into the platform and still be profitable in the mobile space. HP can not.

This is a big part of the reason I've never agreed with "webOS is the best mobile OS out there" statement. It's one of the prettiest, but when you have to wait a year for video capabilities, longer for mic access, etc, there is something very wrong with it "as an OS".

It seems beauty being only skin deep is not just about people. Who knew?

The intuitiveness of WebOS is mentionable. One cannot forget about the fluidity of the OS (moving between apps, gestures, etc.) The OS's overall elegance is what makes me stay.

I'm still using my Pre+, and it works for me. Sure, lacking a document editing tool is a big disappointment, but everything else I see in regards to apps on the iOS and Android OS's just seem gimmicky and unnecessary to me. Also, I won't be watching Netflix on my phones; it's just not practical for my use. That's why WebOS and my Pre+ works for me.

Still, I'm no developer, so I don't know what you guys go through in terms of aggravation with the OS. And I can definitely see why many people would be upset with the current status of WebOS as a whole. I know I'm upset in many ways.

"Just the idea of the PDK is flawed"

I disagree, IMHO PDK is the best thing on the market - show me example of how this "bare metal" access is done in Android? In iOS?

Although lack of microphone API... my gosh...

Yeah and where's my webOS "skin" for Android. Give me the same UI and I'll finally trashcan my Pre (well maybe not but I'll fully embrace Android when they do multitasking and notifications and synergy right).

Yes yes yes! I have been saying that for over a year.

It's NOT the best OS. It's flaws are deep and structural.

Better advertising may have helped it initially, but the product must deliver and it hasn't.

Esp for the 95% of consumers who will never mod their phone.

And using an easily modded phone in Enterprise? forget about it.

A bad OS is the reason i can't go back. The visual multitasking and synergy is nice but the flaws are too many. It's barebones. Too limited. Laggy. Buggy.

It's the OS that always had the potential to be great. But it would need some serious updates.

iOS kills webOS.

I'm waiting for my sprint palm pre to break down so I can use the cell insurance to get a refurbished phone. That will be the only way I will seemingly ever unbox a web os phone again.

If they have any left. You may end up with a different phone entirely.

I've been told by Asurion that they will "always" have replacements for my Pre and that they "never" do upgrades or changes for phones being replaced under "Total Equipment Protection". Still, $100 deductible is hard to swallow when you know you could get a brand new, modern, high-end Android phone for $100.

I gave up waiting for new hardware on sprint. I still have my launch day pre on my desk, but have moved on to the Evo 4G. I really miss the UI of webOS, but I am so glad to finally have a phone with real apps. Still sad that my 3 touchstones are now just paper weights. The pre was my first and last time getting burned by being an early adopter. So sad HP hasn't done webOS right.

Still waiting for Skype to support my Android devices properly. Also, the Facebook app isn't optimized for Honeycomb/tablets and the 3rd party apps aren't fully functional either.

I really like my pre2. But the bug fixes not available to VZW users, and the general lagginess, made the user experience pretty poor. After watching the development of WP7 for several months, I used my upgrade on an HTC Trophy. MS is way behind, but doing everything I hoped HP would do. I do really like the Touchpad however.

Been a Palm customer since the Vx and a HP customer since the HP-41CV (look it up).

Now I'm counting the days til I relegate my Pre- to MP3-player status and get my new ...

... Android phone. The Palm Pre/HP acquisition debacle should make a nice business case study at HBS. I'm not going to risk being an early adopter of a totally unproven ecosystem again (HP/Palm/WebOS).

Moved to EVO 3D a month ago. Love it.

I think we all knew that the Pre3 at this point was DOA along time ago.

To get past that note though. Here is a theory that now make more sense to me. We heard that HP was open to license Webos. It had been thought that Samy would be the hardware licensee. We now have the Beats audio going exclusive with HTC. It has been speculated HPalm has a slab phone in the wings. Now we have the announcement of the HTC/Beats deal tomorrow. What if the slab HPalm phone is coming out and it's being built by HTC with Beats audio. HTC has shown they make solid hw esp in slab form. This way we get a Super Webos phone with HPalm supplying the OS, HTC the hardware and Beats doing the audio. That could make for one powerful device to go up against the IP5 and W7 Mango.

Ok back out from fantasy land back to reality.

" It has been speculated HPalm has a slab phone in the wings."

it has been speculated, but it didn't show up on HP's published roadmaps, not for 2011 anyway, and 2012 is only mentioned as "other devices". For what we know, Pre 3 might be the last webOS device that is to be released or last phone - because "other devices" might be as well webOS printers, toasters, and other sick nonsenses

I'm sorry, guys but this is the nature of the beast. Microsoft does the same thing. They announce a product in January/February and actually release it in September/October. It's just the way things are. Don't whine. With any big company there is a chance that they will decide to do this. What's funny is the fact that, you are completely wrong, people want different styles of phones, just the fact that there is a front facing camera and a 1.4GHz processor make it the best mobile device on the market. You guys are worrying too much.

"... make it the best mobile device on the market."

Except it's not on the market.

LOL :)

..I can think of one or two other devices "on the market" that have front facing camera, too

HTC tends to announce their newest phones a couple months before release. Now, they often leak rumors and snapshots of upcoming devices but they build anticipation in doing so. HP? Nothing.

Everything about webOS is laggy, including product releases.

Almost every phone has its problems. My Veer, Nexus S, and Infuse 4G, all have problems.

Can't wait for the Pre3 to come out. First tryed out webOS when I got a Pre+ for AT&T and have loved the OS since!

But then again, almost every phone sells better than the Pre.

I wonder how many webOS users have moved on in these past 6 months. Sadly, I stopped recommending webOS to friends and family. Frankly because I don't know what shape the OS will be in and what hardware will be available in the future.

I stopped doing that a year ago. I couldn't in good conscious recommend a phone that I had a feeling wouldn't get further support and wasn't complete anyway (talking about the Pre -/+).

Time to do another poll on P|C

it's really sad. I still am rocking a pre-. I'll wait and watch it come out on another network and then go android. 2.5 years later, at least I feel good about not getting a new phone until my pre- died. After 3 replacements for defects this one is still kickin. I'll drive it into the ground.

Been saying it since the acquisition: HP has never been successful making and selling smartphones or tablets, and lord knows they've tried. They have failed every time. Somehow, people just believed everything would be magically changed by HP acquiring a failed OS from a failed company. Then, they left the leader of that failed company to overseen the failed OS under the failed HP mobile banner...

What were you expecting?

HP has always stuck with MS and mobile windows at the time wasn't great. Windows Tablets were bound to fail because MS couldn't make a light footprint OS since they wanted to protect their cash cow windows and keep everything compatible. But the hardware was never up to handling the windows OS (maybe different now, but maybe not).
HP gave Palm a chance to survive. Even if the Pre launch didn't fail, (I still use my Pre +) Palm would have been crushed by much bigger players. At least HP realized a non-MS mobile strategy was necessary.
HP is a successful company which I hope can get behind webOS if they don't lose their nerve and back out. (I'm sure that crossed the minds of HP executives with the weak TP launch (yeah I have one). I don't think HP will leave though, they're afraid to become a irrelevant dinosaur with no mobile strategy.
My VWZ wireless phone update is in september. Decisions, decisions.

For me the handset comes before the tablet, and so the Pre3 purchase comes before (or maybe with) the TouchPad.

Until then....waiting and keeping my $$ dry.

The TP will look like something from the Flintstones by the time the Pre 3 arrives (if ever).

...you are just about one of several HUNDREDS of millions of smartphone users out there versus several TENS of millions of tablet users out there, but, not to worry... HP knows better.

...Or not. It seems, they don't.

Right?

If they force us to use Android handsets, they're forcing us away from WebOS tablets. If they force us to use iOS handsets, they're forcing us away from WebOS tablets.

Apple gets it. Google gets it. HP....not so much.

...exactly

Hp f&%cking sucks im tired of their bullshit if they gonna take this long to bring out there f-ing product,i don't need them..imma try this android ish in the mean time..love WebOs but f&$k HP there not getting my money until i see their serious players in this market(I'm so freaking pissed) i should have bought a android tab,cause i don't even have a f$^king smart phone to go with my touchpad (which needs some major update on its software).To think Hp put all there effort in this freaking tab and its still has issue i luv it but the main reason i bought cause i was hope for the PRE3 to be out by now..F&^k it I'm done

I agree with u guys this is beyond puzzling. My pre is officially dying. So now I have a Motorola phone on Sprint. What frustrates me is they(HP) is so damn silent. No leaks to give u smidging of hope. Unless the Pre3 has something new we don't know about I think it is DOA.
It is sad to see a company with such a great OS **** it all up. It seems all this time they haven't figure out how swift the market is. They too way behind to be playing catch up.

Sad but true I think that webOS is dying. With the Pre 3 not even having rumors of a release date and the TouchPad dropping in price $100, it is clear that HP is allowing webOS to die. I loved my Pre, but I had to move on.

Only webOS can truly multitask.
HP simply can't.

+100 Ha ha

...a good one!

It's sad to see you guys like this. You have no choice, you have the website, thousands of hours, posts reviews etc into webOS. I was big into it also, but after seeing HP sucks at this as bad as Palm did, I've moved on. My wife traded her Pre- for a Nexus S, and I'm deciding between a GSII, Nexus Prime or iPhone 5. I even got excited for a few minutes at the thought of a $300 Touchpad. But for you guys, who I love, it sucks to see you like this. Desperately holding on to hope of something. webOS is the Len Bias of mobile OS, so much talent, so much potential, so little made of it.

The Pre3 should be put on the same level as the Samsung Conquer 4G (specs are very similar) and try to release a super slab to compete with hire end phones. Of course this is very unlikely and I don't have faith in HP's ability to deliver.

The Samsung Conquer 4G has:
http://www.androidcentral.com/samsung-conquer-4g-specs

•MicroSD card slot
•Access to more than 250,000 apps
•Initial price $99

What's your point? My statement was that their specs are similar not exactly the same. I also didn't say anything about an app catalog or the price (as there is no price for the Pre3 yet).

Can't say I get the point of all this "scale" talk.

HP may have "flex[ed] their scale muscle to with the TouchPad" as quoted in the article. But a few paragraphs earlier, they "released the Veer to underwhelming reviews and we suspect poor sales, and the TouchPad to the same."

The two don't add up, and so far "scale" has yet to show itself in results.

My thoughts on the whole situation as it stands:

After I saw the Pre 3 at Think Beyond, I sorta figured that 2011 was going to be a boring year for WebOS. Apart from the TouchPad, I didn't expect the Pre3 to wow anyone. It didn't at Think Beyond.

Right now, we are sort of in an in between time for the platform. I don't think WebOS is dead yet, but next year HP is really going to have to get serious. WebOS still has a chance to stay in the race, especially with RIM fading fast, and Android in legal troubles. Many probably still think there is space for more ecosystems, as Mozilla now started their own WebOS-like mobile OS project, "Boot to Gecko": https://wiki.mozilla.org/B2G (this *could* be a way out for Google if it ever becomes proven that Android is radioactive - or it could be proof positive that Mozilla has a brain disorder).

Hardware:
Not a lot of people like the Pre form factor. Its obvious - its not selling. Whats in is high specs, large format screens, multiple form factors, and advanced technology.

The next series of WebOS devices need to wow customers, and to wow customers, you need to get developers interested first. To get developers interested, you need to announce devices with cutting edge specs. Real cutting edge specs, not half-assed with a BS excuse of "well thats all they need…". Now, I do understand that most customers don't and shouldn't care about specs, but developers do. Get the developers excited about your product, and that could bring more interest, and more apps. More apps will bring more customers. As it stands, there isn't anything exciting building apps for a 1.4Ghz single core Pre 3 running a near dead platform, when Android is working on dual core devices with Tegra chipsets, NFC, rear and front facing cameras, and even 3D (and please don't come back with the boring geek cliches about 3D. People are buying it.)

More form factors. Large slabs. The Pre 3. The small Veer. A horizontal slider. This platform needs to appeal to as many customers as it can if it wants to gain relevancy. HP can keep running their own line of Pre devices, while also licensing WebOS out to other manufactures who can crank out better and more varied devices.

Software:
The multitasking concept is great in the first 10 minutes of using the device. Nice. Then what? Ok, i'll stare at how elegant and "buttery smooth" it is. Then I chuck it at the wall because there is nothing I can do with it.

WebOS puts itself into a bind since its built on top of web development technologies (a half assed job of it too if I can add - I can do more in Chrome/Safari's Webkit than I can in WebOS), but that can be overcome, slowly. Many applications on other platforms are built on proven languages with long existing libraries, something that doesn't exist yet for WebOS. That alone probably influences how long new apps come to the platform.

Second, better support needs to be built into the OS for business users. If they don't come from the 3rd party, then build it themselves. Another point of constructive criticism - get better Google support. WebOS is probably the only mobile OS (apart from probably WP7) where I have to suffer **** Gmail support. Work with Google to bring full Gmail account searching and support in Synergy (as it exists in Android and iOS).

WebOS on the desktop is often overlooked, but very important. Google has desktop integration with its Google Apps through the browser. Apple integrates directly into the users OS. WebOS needs to bring a similar feature set to the desktops (notice the 's') - Windows, Linux and Mac. What do I see in that? Desktop media management and sync. Bookmark sync. Password sync. Contacts sync and management. Take the idea of Touch to Share even further - allow me to "flick" my open web tabs over to my TouchPad or Pre. Allow me to send SMSs and calls not just from my TouchPad..but from my computer as well. Really integrate mobile with the stationary. And if they are feeling adventurous, put WebOS in a media box to give GoogleTV and AppleTV a run for its money. The mainstream media won't last for much longer, position yourself to cash in on it.

The Future:
If you are on the fence about walking away from WebOS because of the Pre3, then walk away. Don't waste your time this product cycle. You aren't hurting HP or WebOS by doing so, the platform is practically flatlined. The only thing you are hurting is yourself and your mobile needs. There are great products to be had in Android with the Samsung Galaxy S2, The Evo 3D, and others. Apple's amazing iPhone 4 (soon to be 5) is also a solid pick, more so if you are already an Apple product user. If you use Windows, WP7 is an interesting OS to look into. And if you want to be adventurous, the amazing Nokia N9 is a great pick for those on a GSM carrier. If you see yourself still being interested in WebOS, just check back here from time to time (put Pre Central in your popular feed reader) to keep up on what the next year might bring.

To close out, I presume Feb 2012 is when we could see the next Think Beyond. Im looking forward to that, and I hope that WebOS doesn't get his head blown off before then. HP needs to really Think Beyond next year, or just Think About putting WebOS six feet deep.

You repeat a often made flawed argument.
You combine the fact that the Pre is not a best-seller with it's form factor and conclude that it is not selling because of the form-factor.

Yet undoubtedly there are other factors that obviously *could* explain low sales and some of them are at least as likely.
Marketing for the Pre was often either absent or terrible. Much worse was salespeople steering people to other phones.
Which brings us to the hardware issues - which probably helped to influence shops to want to sell other phones.
Lack of apps is a big factor regardless of the form factor.

Phones with keyboards have actually been fairly popular. The full keyboards were part of Blackberrys success.

The size can't be a big problem - it's very close to the IPhones.
And plenty of people dislike the large slabs (though I think HP should also release a 4" slab to get that part of the market too).

You would recommend a Nokia N9 over the Pre3? As a solution for people who are on a struggling platform you recommend for them to go to an abandoned one?
Apart from the big Elephant that is apps - please explain to me how the phones you listed are clearly better than the Pre3. You can list a point or 2 and then I can counter list a couple points where the Pre3 is ahead.

The features of the Pre3 are not bad in absolute terms. They are only bad compared to this communities expectations. Well - and the fact that it is still not released. It's really about time they actually do that.

There's not much connection between Windows and WP7 - except for both coming from MS. They just killed the mobile windows version that actually was closer to Windows and replaced that with the all new and totally different WP7.

I totally agree with you regarding desktop integration. HP has good potential there.

You consider Javascript and C/C++ not to be proven languages? Err - what?

To get developers interested you *don't* need cutting edge specs. The specs can be pretty boring. What you need is market share - or other interim financial incentives. Devs want to sell their apps to make money (especially the kind of devs for big name apps that people most ask for). If devs can see that they can money - you think they'll stay away because the specs ain't cool enough?
Apple sells only 1 form factor and spec bumps it a bit once a year and it doesn't have the greatest specs or best bang for the buck - but it has great market share and therefore plenty of devs releasing apps for that. Actually Apple fails almost all requirements in your first sentence on hardware.

3D is not as successful as you seem to believe. It tanked on TV. It's post-peak on cinema. And Nintendo just had to drop the price for its mobile 3D console.

I agree that webos needs better support for things like RDP and some other stuff that business users and consumers now want from a smartphone.

HP can't wait for 2012. For 2012 to be the year when webos starts to really take off - the rest of 2011 must be the year when they established the solid foundation for that. Before xmas they need to have a range of webos devices in all major markets, a selection of critical apps released and consistent strong marketing.
I don't expect them to be super-successful this year. But they need to get the downward trend reversed so that they can build on that next year.

I second ALL that you have said, well done.

Whoa, maybe that read wrong, but I DO recognize C/C++ as real languages. Javascript, not so much - at least not yet. I'd be surprised if that offends you - since many programmers I know get pissed off when I mention the potential of JS, which they think is a toy language (and these people are old VB, Java, C++ guys who scoff at the idea of Web Applications).

As for the form factor - well... its not selling. Apple can launch one form factor year after year because its proven and it works. Apple is Apple. They have various other factors working in their favor. HP is just HP, its a different company, with a different set of goals and visons, so a different tactic is needed. I know that might anger the "faithful", but HP/Palm hasn't proven itself capable of anything matching an Apple model. No single Android device has proven itself capable either. That doesn't mean they are failures, but that each platform has different ways to appeal to customers. The problem with HP just that - they aren't really appealing to anyone so far.

The form factor itself might not be the sole problem, and there are many people who do appreciate it, but apparently it hasn't been enough to interest people. You can advertise all you want, if a large group of people care less about the only offered form factor, then its hosed. I think if HP addressed this (and addressed specs, which I know you disagree with), it would go towards fixing the problem of salespeople ostracizing WebOS. Not only do you have to get developers excited, but sales outlets too. 3D may be flopping, but hey, it was just a suggestion - anything really to attract people to the platform. 3D might be hated by the "internet intellectuals", but I haven't seen as much hate for it elsewhere. Most people see it as a "hey look, cool!", then walk away.

Lol, my comment about picking another device was more centered around picking something for this "cycle" until around this time next year. The other platforms are self explanatory when it comes their value (at least, to people who aren't "Pre Faithful"), so im not going to waste my time to "list points". If you are someone who is Faithful to WebOS, it wont make any difference what I say, the Pre will always win. To those who aren't, they are great platforms to look into.

As for the N9 - if you just see yourself leaving the WebOS world for a year, it wouldn't be a bad choice if you wanted to be adventurous. Sure its a dead platform, but its a nice piece of hardware, and apparently the lack of apps on WebOS doesn't seem to affect many of the "Faithful" here. Its just recently released, and could be a nice niche device for the hackers/modders.

But over all I think we agree, since not on the little details. 2011 isn't going to be a big year, its just HP going through the motions. 2012 is going to be the year to watch. My only concern is if it will be too little, too late by then.

[Apart from the TouchPad, I didn't expect the Pre3 to wow anyone. It didn't at Think Beyond.]

The Pre 3 actually did get some cheers at the Feb 9 event. It was the Veer that got the "pin drop" treatment. There seemed to be genuine excitement from the webOS fans about the Pre 3. Not sure how that translated into the Veer being released first and the Pre 3 last (if ever) but oh well.

Great post. Well, if HP doesn't get their act together soon then next year's "Think Beyond" event will turn out to be more like, "Think Back".

Well said.

Sigh.. I'm mostly pissed because when the Pre 3 was announced, I thought "finally, a WebOS phone I can recommend to friends and family with total confidence!"

Well, since then, all those people have moved on from feature phones to better-spec'd Androids and iPhones.

Fast forward to whenever they decide to release the damned thing and I'll basically be asking people to downgrade their equipment to use a WebOS phone - making me out to feel like a real chump. No thanks.

Good luck, HP - you're gonna need it.

I'm foolishly hoping they're adding more RAM or flash storage to it. The little I understand about the make-up of our devices (barely enough to make this statement), those would be the easiest to add without really changing anything.

True - except for adding cost while gaining you *nothing* (regarding RAM).

Please understand that - should you get a Pre3 - you likely will not ever use part of the 512 MB of RAM it already has.
Upgrading that to 1 GB only means adding 512 MB that will *not be used*.

Please have a look at the Videos where people started 50+ apps before they ran out of RAM (and that was including RAM intensive 3D games).

How many apps will you actually run at the same time? 3? 5? Let's go crazy and say 10.

Mobile webos and the apps/web sites we run on them will probably eat 1 GB and more RAM some time in the future - but that's probably a couple of years away - and then you get a new phone anyway. Don't worry about it.

Storage (e.g. SD) is different. That entirely depends on the size of your media collections (Video and Music).

You'll never fill 8 GB (let alone 16) with documents you edit or games you play - or anything else that requires your input. It's unlikely you have enough pictures you want on your phone to fill that. 1 GB will hold 200 songs in MP3 (or similar formats).

With 16 GB - minus system, minus all your documents you can carry ca 3000+ songs around. You have more than that?

The only thing that could really break 16 GB is a large video library.

90+% of people will neither hit 512 MB RAM, nor 16 GB storage limit within the next 2-3 years.

This is just spec bragging.
Just like the crazy idea that a smartphone should have more than 5 MP cameras.
8, 10 and 12 MP smartphone cameras are *beyond* *useless*.

For a regular photo you need 2-3 MP to get good quality, with 4-5 getting you on the safe side. You won't really see any improvements by adding more pixels. And due to the limited size of the camera chip, quality can actually go down when you raise pixel resolution but can't increase the chip size.
Plus the optics are at least as important for quality and there are severe limits to what can be put in a phone sized device.
On the downside more MP means more (wasted) storage space *and* slower picture taking (compressing and storing the picture obviously takes longer when the amount of pixels increase).

The only spec I worry about: Battery life.
We expect ever more from our smartphones - but battery tech can hardly keep up.
All that quad-core 2+ GHz CPUs with large retina displays and 2 GB of RAM that people ask for (no good reason) needs energy to get powered.
With battery energy density only getting better comparatively slowly and batteries being a big volume/weight/cost factor in a smartphone this is the primary spec people should really worry about.

I prefer a CPU that is just about fast enough - and no more - so it can save energy instead of waste it.
I'd rather not have 512 extra MB that I'll likely never actually use - but the device has to provide power for.

In such a small device everything is a trade-off.

I agree in general with spec bragging which seems to be Android fan's thinking. But to run webOS well, you need a fast cpu. The overclocking I've done with my Pre+ makes the device useable. None of the software updates did. A stock Pre is pretty laggy. Battery life is very important. I can barely get by a 8-10 hr workday on my pre + and I've purchased new batteries. My work Iphone 4 can last 24 hrs. The phone camera is still a gimmick to me.
The problem is when you project how fast you CPU should be and you're wrong because of more sophisticated apps or public perception (unfortunately very important) is that your products are dated. That's part of RIMs problem. They very purposely released just enough devices. And Android and apple killed them. Webos can't fall into that complacency.

If I had a phone with a decent camera, I'd stop using a point-and-shoot digital. But I've yet to try any cell phones with a camera that actually is as good as a dedicated device (tried Evo, Epic, Evo 3D, Nexus S, and my Acer Iconia A500).

try Nokia N series, they are commonly regarded as a best cameraphones money can buy.

...but do not expect miracles. there are physical limitations of how "good" image can be captured, using tiny sensor and toy lenses.