Should Verizon take a chance and release the HP Pre 3 anyway?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: August 20, 2011

By now, you’ve heard what HP has done with webOS and the hardware that runs the mobile OS. And by now, we’ve heard from just about everyone how HP probably made one of the worst moves in the company’s history. Truthfully, it can’t be said enough, because it’s true. webOS is one of the most unique and interesting operating systems out there and the simple fact that HP didn’t have the drive or desire to follow through with the mobile OS is disheartening to say the least. But, while the hardware has been discontinued, there does still seem to be some hope out there for the OS itself, in that there are still rumors and talk about HP licensing webOS out to some other manufacturer. With that in mind, thinking that the OS might not be all that dead quite yet, should Verizon still consider launching the Pre3?

It’s been a long time since we heard anything about the Pre3 launching with Verizon branding. We all know that it’s been way longer than “the coming months,” and even before the expiration of the webOS-based hardware by HP, some people probably already assumed the device wasn’t coming to Big Red anyway. But, the handset is probably still out there, and it’s probably still sitting in a warehouse somewhere, just waiting to see the light of day. And with talk that webOS may live on in some fashion or another, would it be possible for those handsets to actually ever launch?

The conversation on webOS is bleak, there’s no escaping that. HP has, for all intents and purposes, sounded the death knoll for the OS that Palm built and loved, but let’s try and think about something positive, even if it does seem remarkably far-fetched. Namely, the release of the Pre3 on Verizon’s network. Why? Because while it may not have been as obvious as some would like, there’s obviously a following to webOS. There are obviously plenty of people out there who didn’t want the OS to die. On that same side of the coin, there are probably still plenty of people out there who still wanted to get their hands on the Pre3 and test out the new hardware, with the most updated version of webOS for smartphones. Those people are still out there, but now they don’t have much to look forward to.

That could change if Verizon were to launch the improved handset. Right now, the attention on webOS has never really been higher, so by launching the handset, the results could work positively two-fold. First, it shows that HP hasn’t completely given up on the mobile OS, even if we know that they won’t be making any new hardware in the future. It shows that the company isn’t leaving those who had faith in HP out in the cold, at least not entirely. Sure, they’ll be getting the boot to the cold in no time, but at least right now it won’t look as bad. And second, it shows that HP is really committed to making something happen with the OS itself. Why? Because if they release the Pre3 (and let’s not forget that 64GB TouchPad, shall we?), then it means that they still plan, one way or another, of keeping up with the software and not letting it flat-line completely.

Then again, it could very well not mean that at all. There’s a small, very small chance that HP does still slip the Pre3 out into the States on a specific carrier (even if it doesn’t look like AT&T will be that carrier), but that may not mean that HP cares about updating the software in the future, or supporting it at all. After they release the hardware and people buy it, future support isn’t all that essential, is it? Customer retention doesn’t seem to be a high priority for HP at this point in time, anyway.

This is just cloud talk, or hopeful thinking. Wishing, even. But, I’m okay with that. The Pre3 was actually an enticing device, especially with its interconnectedness with the TouchPad. But, we may never get a chance to see the device on the market, and that’s unfortunate on so many levels. Do you think HP should still release the Pre3, or should HP just drop off the face of the map already? Let me know what you think should happen to the Pre3 in the comments below.

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