Is the HP Pre 3 DOA?

HP Pre 3“He’ll explain, he says, how “all the pieces of HP come together in a coherent way, and why each part is so important.

And gone will be the days when HP announces a product to great fanfare, and then nothing happens because the product will not hit the shelves until many months later when the buzz is forgotten and the technology ever so slightly-out-of-date.”

- BBC News, February 2011 in regards to Leo Apotheker’s takeover of HP

All the way back on February 9th, Palm – ahem – HP announced the HP Pre 3 smartphone alongside the HP TouchPad. And while the HP TouchPad has made it to shelves already, we haven’t seen hide nor hair of the Pre 3. We heard that it was going to be coming in July to both AT&T and Verizon but we’re now a couple of days into August so that rumor obviously didn’t prove fruitful.

Wait, did I just say August? That’s right. It has been over five months since HP announced the device and like many others out there, I’m beginning to wonder where this thing is. I’m just doing it publicly.  Last we heard, it wasn’t headed to Sprint and it was possibly getting outfitted with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor to better position itself against the competition. But, is that really going to be enough?

In my opinion, this phone is dead in the water. If it launches at any point in 2011, it’ll be facing stiff competition from phones that blow it out the water, webOS and all. First up, in August, we have the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S II. It’ll likely be heading to AT&T, Sprint and Verizon at the very least. That provides little breathing room for the Pre 3′s launch on AT&T and Verizon.

If HP waits until September, it will then be put up against the Motorola Droid Bionic and the next iPhone. Good luck with that. Remember what happened with the original Palm Pre? Yeah, not surprising that Dan Hesse and company took a pass on this phone this time around.

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Well, how about October? At that point, it will have been announced 10 months ago and the new Nexus phone will be closer than ever. As will Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Oh, and let’s not forget Windows Phone Mango and Nokia’s first Windows Phone. Who on earth, besides current TouchPad owners, would be compelled to buy this phone with that in the back of their head? Seriously, find me someone that would buy this phone over the other options that are going to be available.

So I am thinking that one of these four things is going to happen:

  • HP is going to launch this alongside the HP TouchPad model that’s headed for AT&T.
  • AT&T and Verizon will carry it but sell it at an extremely discounted price, say $100. Not even sure it’s worth releasing at that point.
  • HP will release an unlocked model of the device.
  • They won’t release it at all instead opting to announce something at next year’s CES.

No carrier is going to dedicate a full-fledged launch to this phone. Maybe if it had come out at some point at the beginning of summer but with a new iPhone, a Galaxy S II and 4G LTE phones looming in the distance, selling this phone is a near impossible task to undertake. I absolutely love webOS. In fact, I enjoyed the original Palm Pre a great deal but it’s pretty darn obvious that Leo Apotheker, Jon Rubinstein didn’t learn the lessons that should have been taken from that launch.

With the market as cutthroat as it is right now, you need something special to compete, and a late-to-the-party Pre 3 is unfortunately not that device.

“And gone will be the days when HP announces a product to great fanfare, and then nothing happens because the product will not hit the shelves until many months later when the buzz is forgotten and the technology ever so slightly-out-of-date.”

Right.

Comments

  1. Antoine RJ Wright says

    Ok, so there won’t be the fanfare that it would have gotten if it came out closer to the release date, but that’s probably not going to be the best positioning for the Pre 3 or anything else inside of HP’s “vision” for WebOS everywhere. If you will… they could manage this one just fine by constantly have other WebOS product releases and then play up the angle of them talking to each other in a manner that makes it a viable and consistent sell for carriers (that is mobile devices) and then for consumers (who will be looking at the printing, PC, and mobile products as to how they fit into their lives).

    If HP is savvy enough to use that kind of angle, and I think they have to be at this juncture, then they will be fine. The focus for WebOS isn’t necessarily the devices, but how the devices work together to enhance some aspect of the consumer’s life. That message isn’t yet lost – as other companies are trying to speak the same thing about their platforms/ecosystems (Apple, Amazon, MS, etc.).

  2. Jeff Azevedo says

    They wasted so much time engineering a difficult novelty phone (Veer) when any person on the street could have told them to create a Slab with WebOS. The Pre3 will never get them out of the 1% market no matter how good the Hardware is, let alone the specs on this still unseen Pre3.

    They have the OS and the money, now they need the talent. It’s time to cut the strings on Ruby!

  3. Michael Anderson says

    Sadly I agree … I love the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, but the hardware was too weak to sustain it.  The TouchPad has flopped, as has the Veer.  webOS is pretty much a dead deal at this point, heck, even Windows Phone 7 is doing better …

    • Thrik says

      the touchpad flopped? i don’t think so man. Win7 is doing better? Huh? Webos is a dead deal? I couldn’t figure out with your post if you’re an isheep or droid fanboy. Either way, they have you wrapped around they finger don’t they?

    • Anonymous says

      The TouchPad is sold out at countless retailers.
      Certain market analysts have even ranked it in the #2 spot among current tablet sales.  It’s been tremendously successful, in part due to a massive subliminal and traditional marketing push by HP.

  4. John Destacamento says

    I hope HP understands that if you announce a product, it needs to be released within weeks, NOT several months.  Technology moves way too fast.  The debut webOS Pre release was simply outshined by the iPhone 3GS which took away the thunder from Palm. On the brightside, Palm (HP) was able to sell millions of webOS devices with very little marketing power.   As for the Pre 3 can this be Deja vu all over again?  

    My outlook is if HP wants to release the Pre 3 in late September it needs something very special.  Perhaps a 2 GHZ processor? 10,000 apps more added to the HP Catalog?  A shiny new color?  24 hour battery life?    An expresso machine?  If it was available today I’d buy it.  Sixty days from now?  Hmmm……

    • Michael Anderson says

      It is interesting how much traction the 1.4 single to 1.2 dual core report got, but how little the correction got … I had no clue but after your message I searched and could find stuff, but mostly on forums …

  5. Calcmandan says

    I couldn’t agree more. If they release the pre3 with even slightly improved stats that what they announced back in the techrassic period, we will all see a long,labored death of a superb platform. HP better just call it quits with the Pre3saurus and release a big ass phone with killer features if they want to keep their killer platform alive.

    and they better not skimp on memory either.

  6. icstars989 says

    First of all TouchPad sold out because stores bought a very minimal supply.  Secondly I agree with this post,  I loved WebOS and the Pre Plus, but you cant wait this long to release a product anymore, you just cant.  There is far too much firepower coming from all the heavy hitters this fall for HP to have any kind of meaningful impact.  I’d love it if they could get their act together and could get support from devs, WebOS really is a great platform.

  7. YoPauly says

    I have been a Pre fan since day one, but  my patience has finally dried up and I purchased an iPhone 4. 
    I rushed into Best Buy to see the HP Touchpad on the evening of its release. There was no line, there was no one even looking at it. I played with it for 30 seconds when an HP rushed up and took over, showing me what I already knew, and what he didn’t know. The demo I looked at, clearly was not damaged or even used much that day, yet it was totally sluggish and barely responsive to the touch, swipes, etc. He blamed it on the fact that the battery was low, and didn’t even know how to plug it in!  After watching him fumble around for another couple of minutes, I suggested that he get better training and let customers explore the product, rather than to take over. 

    Afterward I walked over to the ipad2 that had a crowd around it, pulling on it and fingerprints all over the screen. After about 10 minutes I got my turn, and it worked flawlessly.

    Last week, I was at Costco and found a huge pallet of HP Touchpads with a demo that read “Touch Me”, but the touch pad was completely enclosed in a plexiglass box. Clearly HP doesn’t really want customers to “touch” their Touch Pad until they’ve purchased it. There was another tablet next to it what was being used by some kids… 

    So long Palm HP and Pre. I love my new iPhone, and with iOS5 just around the corner, I’m afraid that the Pre 3 will release without much notice at all. Maybe they’ll display it in a plexiglass box as well.

    Now to order one of those slick bluetooth keyboard cases for my iphone. That was truly the only thing missing, and now it’s available!

    Yo

    • Noah Thomas739 says

      this was the funniest post ever…so many mixed thougt on the palm…onething we can all agree on is that hp screwed up just as palm did… I’m up for an upgrade on att and want to have a second phone on verizon…its really sad that if you want a phone today that up on tech…you have to buy an iphone… I bougt an iphone just prior to the release back on june 6 2009 I was one of the first in line for the pre orignal… I also bought the last 4 pre’s att had when I went back to the iphone months later pissed at the lies of flash, updates, and a strong app base…the pre I will say is and I still believe the best phone every made…with the bugs, poor apps and a buy out due to some strange and never seen before marketing it’s really sad to see a great phone fade and for a second time experience the same crap as the original… Yopauly you just made my mind up for me… Iphone here I come…sad I’ll alway love palm and palm will always be in my blood…but one must part ways due to…who knows…maybe obama can get a palm 3 or even call hp to ask what the hail is going on!

    • Noah Thomas739 says

      this was the funniest post ever…so many mixed thougt on the palm…onething we can all agree on is that hp screwed up just as palm did… I’m up for an upgrade on att and want to have a second phone on verizon…its really sad that if you want a phone today that up on tech…you have to buy an iphone… I bougt an iphone just prior to the release back on june 6 2009 I was one of the first in line for the pre orignal… I also bought the last 4 pre’s att had when I went back to the iphone months later pissed at the lies of flash, updates, and a strong app base…the pre I will say is and I still believe the best phone every made…with the bugs, poor apps and a buy out due to some strange and never seen before marketing it’s really sad to see a great phone fade and for a second time experience the same crap as the original… Yopauly you just made my mind up for me… Iphone here I come…sad I’ll alway love palm and palm will always be in my blood…but one must part ways due to…who knows…maybe obama can get a palm 3 or even call hp to ask what the hail is going on!

  8. Anonymous says

    The Pre 3, unlike the TouchPad, was designed by Palm before the merger. I think HP doesn’t care that much about either it or the Veer, and just wants to get them out the door. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if small, slide-out keyboard devices are not part of HP’s game plan going forward.

  9. Benthib says

    I own a palm pixi. I got a great deal on it and love it! I was really looking forward to upgrading to the new pre3 and if it comes out I will be first in line! WebOS is so amazing, nothing I do on my phone takes more than a second to get to, the pixi just doesn’t have enough power to take advantage of the awesome multitasking this OS allows… I will be truly sad if these phone die out!!!

  10. Jon Connell says

    I have the original Plam Pre on Sprint - best phone I ever had. I have been waiting for the new Pre to arrive for 9 months now. I was planning to switch to whatever carrier picked it up – holding my breath through August this year. very frustrating.
    Darn it – I can buy it unlocked in the UK – not sure if that will wahs on the Sprint network in the US though…
    My original plan was to pair with the HP tablet and throw away the laptop. Get off your butts please guys.

  11. Chrystinp says

    “HP pulled the plug Thursday on its TouchPad tablet device, which was
    launched June 1, and plans to discontinue its WebOS-based smartphones.”

    I really had hoped that phone might be the replacement for my 755p.  I guess I’ll be using the 755p for the foreseeable future.

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