HP’s Big Mistake

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I simply don’t do Apple. I’m not going to go into all the reasons here because today I want to rant about another company, HP.

As you can read elsewhere in my blog, my current smartphone is a Palm Pre +. I love just about everything about it, but with enough frustrations and nitpicks that I was recently flirting with the idea of switching to an Android device. I looked at the Motorola Droid Pro, which has a profile that is almost perfect for my needs (physical keyboard is a must), but switching to Verizon means losing international compatibility and the ability to be on line and on the phone at the same time.

So, like many others, I eagerly anticipated HP’s big event earlier this week, when they announced their plans for the future of WebOS devices, which will now be branded HP instead of Palm. Most of what they presented made me very happy. There will be a new Pre 3 that will fix the main complaints I have about my current Pre +. It will have a bigger screen, a bigger, theoretically more usable keyboard and it will be thinner than the current Pre. It will also be a better build with glass, rather than a plastic face. WebOS 2.x looks like a small improvement, but nothing that seems earth shaking.

But here’s my disappointment.

Did anyone at HP think about putting in place the necessary deals that would give a potential buyer the confidence to wait another 5 months or so for their new devices?

After introducing their new hardware (which also included a smaller version of the pre and a new slate computer), the next part of the presentation should have been…

-We are proud to announce that these new devices will be released worldwide on the following carriers, including (for the first time) all four major U.S. cell providers. All the devices will be worldphones, meaning that no matter who your carrier is, the phone will work in every country in the world.

-We are also proud to announce that we have deals with software developers to plug the holes in WebOS app availability. Upon launch all WebOS devices will include Slingplayer, Tom Tom Navigation, Skype and Qik applications among others.

-Finally, HP WebOS has been tweaked for the Enterprise. Exchange Server support has been updated to give the best experience available to corporate customers, with secure instantaneous sync and support of all Exchange functions.

Surely HP is big enough and has enough worldwide clout to achieve these goals. While the WebOS team is busy getting these devices ready for market, doesn’t HP have a team of people who could have been taking care of the rest of this?

So, will I wait until “summer” and get a Pre 3? Maybe. In the meantime, I’ll be checking out the tech blogs and hitting “refresh.”

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