An unlocked version of the WebOS 2.0-running Palm Pre 2 is now available in the United States for $449. Additionally, a coupon for $200 off is available to developers.
Fans of the Palm Pre 2 can now purchase an unlocked version of the
smartphone through Palm.com and Hewlett-Packard's SMB channels for
$449, HP's Palm business announced on its blog
The Pre 2 is first smartphone to run WebOS 2.0, the newest
incarnation of the mobile operating system largely responsible for
enticing HP to purchase Palm this summer. The Pre 2 debuted in France
on SFR Oct. 19, before finally heading in the United States and Canada.
"With WebOS 2.0, we're advancing the innovations we introduced 16
months ago, expanding the features that make WebOS great for consumers,
enterprises and developers," Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and
general manager of HP's Palm Global Business Unit, said in an earlier
"We've made tremendous strides since the platform launched, and now
we're taking our biggest leap forward with powerful new features that
make it easier to get more things done with your WebOS device."
Features new to WebOS 2.0 include Stacks, a way of grouping together
related items to simplify multitasking; Just Type, which lets users
start typing before an app has even launched; Exhibition, which lets
users run certain apps while the device is charging; and support for
the Adobe Flash Player 10.1.
Developers wanting to build apps for WebOS can also purchase an
unlocked UMTS Pre 2 though HP Palm's developer purchase program, which
offers developers a $200 discount.
In addition to the updated software, the Pre 2 is the first Palm
smartphone with a 1GHz processor, and there's also a 5-megapixel
camera, a glass display and a slightly new look that Palm describes as
a "sleek, streamlined design."
To view images of the Palm Pre 2, click here.
At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco Nov. 16, Rubinstein said that
HP and Palm plan to bring Web 2.0 to more smartphones, tablets,
printers and other devices. "We've got some other ideas in the pipeline
we're not ready to talk about yet," he said during a keynote interview.
He also discussed his time with Apple, before he went to Palm. "It
was a disaster," he said. "It had lost its way ... It was really
terrible." That is, until Jobs and Rubinstein stumbled on the need for
a better music player and came up with the iPod.
Just as Apple "lost its way" in those early years, so, too, did
Palm. The creators of the Palm Pilot, "by birthright, Palm should have
been very successful," said Rubinstein.
Just as Rubinstein was on board when Apple turned things around,
with HP he's hoping to see WebOS meet a successful conclusion. In a
July statement following HP's purchase of Palm, Rubinstein said that
"with HP's full backing and global strengths, I'm confident that WebOS
will be able to reach its full potential. This agreement will
accelerate the development of this incredible platform with new
resources, scale and support from a world-respected brand."
Verizon Wireless will eventually also offer the Pre 2,
though the carrier has yet to offer pricing details or availability.