Will the HP Pre 3 matter versus the competition in the fall?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| July 5, 2011

While HP kicks around the idea of licensing webOS to other manufacturers, and Samsung decides on whether or not they want a piece of the webOS pie, we’re still waiting to get our hands on the HP Pre 3. It’s the “medium” device that was announced way back in the beginning of the year, stuck right in between the HP Veer and the HP TouchPad. And while the TouchPad was at the top of many people’s summer wish-list, it’s the Pre 3 that most people are eager to get their hands on. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting to see it hit store shelves (let alone hear which carriers it will be launching for, whenever it does land in stores). A leaked slide may give some indicator as to when the device will make its way to the market, but it isn’t good news.

When HP unveiled their three new webOS-powered devices, they said that the Pre 3 would launch in the summer. Now that we’re well into summer, people are expecting to see the Pre 3 pop up any day now, ready to be bought and taken home. But, a newly leaked image suggests that HP has made a slight change to their original plan, and it looks now like the Pre 3 won’t be seeing the light of day until this fall. Of course, while we would love to see an exact date on there, the slide is lacking one.

I’m honestly looking forward to the Pre 3. I think it’s about time that webOS has been made available (on a smartphone) on a truly outstanding piece of hardware. The original Pre was good in of itself for a short time, but the Pre 2 didn’t cut it against the competition, and so I’ve been waiting to see how the Pre 3 stacks up since its debut. But, the trouble comes in the fact that I wanted to see how it stacked up back then, against the phones that were already out. Do I think the Pre 3 is a worthy competitor in the fall? Truth be told, I’m a bit worried.

Simply put, this holiday season is going to be a big season for phone manufacturers, and we can be sure that the major players have something huge up their sleeve. Even if we haven’t seen it yet, we can be sure something is coming. And of the devices that we do know are coming, like the next version of the iPhone, even if we don’t know all of the real specifications for the device, we can be sure it will be another device that people literally wait in line for hours to get their hands on. Will anyone be waiting in a line to get the Pre 3?

Like I said above, I’m truly looking forward to the Pre 3. I’ve still got a fondness in my heart for webOS, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The Pre 3 may just be a larger, faster and more brutish version of its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean anything to me. It is all of those things and it’s running the latest version of webOS. That’s great news, and I want to use it. I think the problem will come in the fact that if the Pre 3 comes out before these other high-end handsets from the other manufacturers, then the Pre 3’s time in the limelight will be short-lived. Even for me. And, if the Pre 3 launches after these new devices, and it just can’t stack up in the specifications department, then I feel like it won’t ever have any time to shine in the light.

It will also come down to which carrier(s) the Pre 3 launches for. As of right now, considering the partnership that HP has built with AT&T in its launch of the HP Veer 4G (and the future release of an AT&T 4G-enabled TouchPad), it’s probably a safe bet to think that the Pre 3 will find its way to AT&T’s network as well. However, Verizon’s name has also been tossed into the hat as well, and many people are still hoping beyond hope that Sprint stakes a claim in some kind of webOS device here sooner than later. Nothing’s been confirmed, and we’re all at the edge of our seat to see where the Pre 3 lands.

So by the time the fall comes around, and if this leaked slide is telling us the truth, will the Pre 3 stand a fighting chance? Or has HP missed the mark by letting the high-end device slip into the wrong time of the year, against a market that’s as vicious as they come? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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