HP Pre 3 now available for purchase on official European store

Pop quiz: what's the best way to launch a phone that's left us waiting with anticipation for seven months? HP's answer is to quietly release it on its European store without any pomp or circumstance. We have no idea why the company chose to start selling the Pre 3, its new flagship phone, without any media buzz; the important thing here, however, is that the SIM-free device is now available for purchase on the Palm Eurostore. The phone can be all yours for £299 -- the equivalent of $490 in the US -- which is a respectable price point for a no-commitment smartphone of its caliber. So far we've only seen the phone get pushed out across the pond; European retailers Clove and Box are following HP's lead by offering the Pre 3 as well, just in case the official store runs out of stock. It's probably not too likely, given the company's lack of marketing efforts on this particular launch, but we could always be surprised. After all, we've been waiting for seven months.

Update: PreCentral just received an official statement from HP confirming that the Pre 3 is indeed launching in Europe, and more information will be available for the US soon. Here's the full quote:

HP is excited to begin its regional rollout of Pre3, the only phone today that offers users a slide-out keyboard coupled with a large touchscreen and the fastest speed (1.4GHz processor – the fastest on the market). We expect to share additional information for U.S. customers soon.

So that's it -- a four-line announcement to launch the Pre 3. But hey, it's at least something.