HP says Veer and TouchPad updates will continue, Pre 3 to see a "limited" launch [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
There have been a lot of questions surrounding webOS and devices like the Veer, TouchPad, and Pre 3 ever since HP announced that it was "discontinuing operations" on webOS hardware effective Q4 2011. Today Stephen DeWitt, SVP and general manager of webOS, took to the phone to answer some of those mysteries in an interview with the folks at All Things D. Concerning HP's currently available webOS devices, DeWitt said that both the Veer and TouchPad will see further updates. The exec didn't go into any further detail than that, but he did say that the Veer will continue to be sold.
One of things that's been on everyone's mind since last week's announcement is the fate of the Pre 3. The portrait slider features specs that are competitive with its Android and iOS contemporaries and was supposed to be the next flagship webOS device. It looks like you may have a bit of a hunt ahead of you if you want a Pre 3 of your very own, though, as DeWitt explained that the handset will only see a "limited" launch in "very selective" markets. “We’re not broadly launching Pre 3," he said. DeWitt didn't go into detail about which areas will be a part of the small roll out. This news comes on the heels of a leak revealing that AT&T has cancelled its plans to launch the Pre 3.
What about the future of webOS, you ask? Unsurprisingly, DeWitt didn't go into details of HP's plans for the platform, saying only that "Today we are the only ones making webOS devices. What tomorrow will bring that’s open to speculation.” DeWitt did say, however, that HP is still planning to put webOS on PCs and printers, so at least there's that.
Obviously things are looking a little bleak right now in webOS Land, especially after watching the Pre 3 go from being a headlining handset to something that'll only get a "limited" release. The good news is that HP is still looking at licensing webOS to some other manufacturer(s), so there's still a chance that we'll see some new webOS smartphones arrive at some point in the future. We'll let you know more when we do, but in the mean time maybe you should cross your fingers and toes for some new webOS hardware. Couldn't hurt to try, right?
UPDATE: Bad news for all of us hoping that the U.S. would be part of the Pre 3's "limited" launch: HP has told PCMag that the device won't go on sale at all here in the States. If you absolutely need a Pre 3, HP says that the unlocked model will go on sale in the U.K. and France "shortly" for just $75. This version of the Pre 3 will feature EDGE connectivity on both AT&T and T-Mobile. On the 3G side of things, the unlocked Pre 3 will pack support for the 900, 1900, and 2100MHz bands, meaning that you'll get limited AT&T 3G support and no T-Mobile 3G.