Since buying Palm back in April of 2010, HP has tried their best to breathe life into Palm's web-based mobile platform, webOS. Much to their dismay, HP quickly realized that they are up against much stronger competition than what they bargained for. Apple's iOS has remained strong, Windows Phone 7 entered the scene and Android has grown immensely over the past year and a half.
In February, HP announced three upcoming devices for the year, which, at the time, looked to be rather intriguing. Two of those three devices have since launched and were met with little to no fanfare. The Veer is too small for most smartphone users to enjoy comfortably and the TouchPad hit shelves bug-ridden and hardly ready for consumers.
The HP device that has easily grown the most hype, though, is the elusive Pre 3. It is the first of the webOS phones to sport more adequate hardware – a larger display and faster processor – in comparison to its Android counterparts. It will sport a 3.6-inch (480 by 800 pixel resolution) display, a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and 720p video capture, 512MB RAM, 8 or 16GB of built-in storage and a larger keyboard (thankfully!).
Until this morning, everyone could agree that the Pre 3 was set to ship with a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8x55 processor. Now there is a rumor afloat that HP has decided to swap the 1.4GHz single-core for a 1.2GHz dual-core – the source being HP UK's website.
The Pre 3 was originally scheduled to launch sometime this summer, but as we slowly edge pass the middle of summer without word of the extra large Pre, it appears as if we may miss the original deadline. With rumors of an eleventh hour decision to swap processors, that launch time frame seems even more bleak.
I've already expressed my feelings about manufacturers countless device delays and lollygagging about getting said devices to market in a timely manner. When devices already launch with an air of irrelevance, further delays are that much more detrimental to each phone's sales. Being zero for two with their recent launches, HP's priority needs to be getting the Pre 3 to market, working smoothly as is – not making last minute changes. With quad-cores on the horizon and fifteen Android phones launching each week, delaying their phone even further is a terrible mistake, even if it is to nearly double the CPU. Then again, the delays and rumored price bump could be a result of such a change – meaning this change was made a while back and we're just now learning of it.
Luckily, Pre Central thinks that the information on HP's site is simply a copying/editing slip-up. The listed processor is the exact processor in the TouchPad. Not to mention, they have a pre-release Pre 3 (it was loaned to them with the TouchPad review unit to demo the touch-to-share feature) which sports a 1.4GHz single-core.
My guess is that Pre Central is correct and the dual-core listing is nothing more than human error. Either way, I suppose we will find out in the next month or so. If not, we will all have forgotten about it and moved on to the next iPhone or flavor of the week in Androidland.