HP unveiled its latest webOS creations on February 9, 2011, but the devices didn't reach consumer hands until much later in the year. The Veer was first out of the gate, which arrived at AT&T on May 15th. Despite its adorable form factor, the lilliputian handset failed to address the cramped keyboard of the original Pre and was viewed as a niche device among most webOS fans -- whom by and large, waited patiently for the more capable Pre 3. It wasn't until July 1st that HP released the TouchPad tablet, and in perhaps the worst marketing campaign of all time, the company discontinued it -- and all development for webOS devices -- less than two months later. HP liquidated the majority of its TouchPads in an unceremonious fire sale, then announced a few days later that the Pre 3 wouldn't be sold in the US.
WebOS was undoubtedly a revolutionary operating system for its time. In many ways, it still is. It was created by Palm, Inc., as a replacement for its ancient Palm OS after the company flirted with skunkworks projects such as the Foleo
. The original Pre
, released in June of 2009, was initially lauded for its advanced software, but later heavily criticized for its poor build quality
. The less impressive Palm Pixi
did little to stir interest, and the Pre Plus and Pre 2 were little more than blips on the radar. Short on cash and in need of a lifeline, Palm Inc., sold itself to HP
for $1.2 billion in April of 2010.
The Veer, TouchPad and Pre 3 were each announced in a climate where the patience for new webOS devices had already grown thin. The subsequent wait for their arrival only stirred unrest, and once they greeted the masses, we quickly realized the hardware wasn't up to par. While not a single member of the group will be remembered as revolutionary, each hold the notable distinction as the last devices to carry the torch of webOS
-- in its closed-source era, anyway. Without further ado, we give you the final three.
If the original Pre were a river stone that'd been finely crafted over time, the Veer 4G
was but a mere pebble in comparison (though, still lovely just the same). During a time when smartphones began to take on additional girth, the Veer performed an about-face and offered itself as an alternative to the large-and-in-charge devices that we've learned to embrace. It was a capable HSPA+ handset that brought webOS 2.0 to the table, and while it wielded only an 800MHz CPU, it taunted the world with its snappy multitasking performance.