When’s the Next webOS Device?

Update: This blog is going on hiatus when it comes to predicting the when, where, and what of the next webOS devices. There are just too many uncertainties and rumors floating around, and already this post is out of date of obviously wrong. For awhile, at least, it’ll be nothing but hard news when it comes to hardware.

Now that we’ve learned that the HP Palm acquisition will close on July 1, or at worse during the first week of July, the next question is: when will the next webOS device be released? A related question is, which carrier(s) will the device release on first?

While there’s been no solid information from either HP or Palm, particularly since the acquisition was announce on April 28. There have been some rumors, however, mostly around the mythical “C40” device that’s shown up a few times in Sprint’s inventory system. And, as we’ve gotten closer to the newly-revealed close date, we’ve heard some positive things from HP and Palm representatives.

To handle the second question first: which carrier will get the next device first? Here are some facts to consider:

  1. Sprint:
    • Sprint been selling a webOS device the longest, specifically the Pre since the launch of the platform on June 6, 2010. This makes the Pre the oldest device currently on the market, and also the least attractive—with only 256MB of RAM, the Pre suffers from constant out-of-memory errors that the Pre Plus does not.
    • Sprint’s CTO has made some negative comments about Palm and the Pre, primarily around the platform’s relative lack of success and supply issues at the Pre’s launch. This could be genuine concern on Sprint’s part, mere posturing for better terms with HP for the next device, or just a Sprint executive speaking out of turn.
    • Sprint’s current flagship device is the HTC Evo, a hunk of an Android phone with some nice specs.
    • Sprint has the only active 4G network.
  2. Verizon
    • Verizon has been selling the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus since January 25. So, these refreshes of the Pre and Pixi are still relatively young.
    • Of the three carriers selling webOS devices, Verizon’s launch of the Pre+ and Pixi+ were the weakest. What little advertizing that was done was aimed bizarrely almost exclusively at a female audience and had little impact in driving sales, and Verizon sales reps were almost uniformly intent on steering every smartphone purchaser to the Motorola Droid.
    • Verizon’s focus remains on Android, specifically on the Motorola Droid and more recently the HTC Droid X.
  3. AT&T
    • According to some recent statements by Palm personnel, the AT&T launch on May 16 (and the Pixi Plus on June 6) was better than the Verizon launch, due primarily to better sales rep training. However, better does mean acceptable.
    • AT&T has recently launched the iPhone 4, and is getting some new Android devices soon.

Just from the perspective of getting rid of the oldest devices first, and considering the move to 4G, it makes the most sense that Sprint will get the next webOS smartphone. And, the rumors seem to support this. What’s less clear is if Sprint will get any kind of exclusivity.

Prediction: Sprint will indeed be the launch partner for the next webOS device, but will have a very short exclusive (if any at all). Within 30-60 days, the device (or a variation) will be launched on AT&T and perhaps Verizon as well.

As far as when the device will be released, there’s less to go on. The most recent rumor is that we’re looking at a mid- to late-August release. Given that the next major webOS update (1.5?) is scheduled for the late summer or into the fall, this timing seems to make sense.

Prediction: The next webOS device will be announced shortly after the HP/Palm deal is closed, and definitely before the end of July. It will be released in late August or early September, running webOS V1.5.

Comments

  1. TeckieGirl says:

    Nicely written..I think they need to be aggressive in order succeed and to be taken seriously. I am rooting for the underdog.

  2. ekesqueaky says:

    Really hope it’s Sprint… I switched to Sprint from AT&T to get a launch day Pre and I’m really ready for some new hardware!

  3. pixi_kidd says:

    man hp is really going to go aggressive!! I’m exited to see what’s in store by the end of september!!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] by admin on Jun.26, 2010, under General Now that we’ve learned that the HP Palm acquisition will close on July 1, or at worse during the first week of July, the next question is: when will the next webOS device be released? A related question is, which carrier(s) will the … See the original post here:  AboutPalmPre » Post Topic » When's the Next webOS Device? [...]

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