HP Introduced The Veer, Pre3, And TouchPad One Year Ago Today
This time last year, Derek, Dieter, and Riz were running around San Francisco's Fort Mason Center covering what turned out to be the biggest planned event in the history of webOS. It was the coming out party for webOS under HP, and it came to be known as "Think Beyond." One year ago, HP SVP and Palm Global Business Unit manager Jon Rubinstein got up on the stage to introduce, in order, the tiny HP Veer smartphone, the HP Pre3 - larger, thinner, and more powerful webOS smartphone that the faithful had been waiting for - and the first webOS tablet, the HP TouchPad, all slated by the end of Summer 2011
That day brought more than hardware announcements. We got our first look at webOS 3.0 on the TouchPad, met the new VP of Developer Relations Richard Kerris, found out that HP was not going to update older handsets to webOS 2.0, and said goodbye to the Palm brand. Things were looking up - even if the TouchPad wasn't a mind-blowing piece of hardware, it was the first of what we hoped would be several products to take the market by storm.
The Veer shipped to middling reviews in May and the TouchPad followed in July. And then everything went downhill from there. After just a month on the market, HP cut the TouchPad's price by $100, and ten days after that pulled the rug out from under the webOS community by canceling all webOS hardware development. Since then we've gone through a hardware fire sale, a fired CEO, the loss of Kerris, Rubinstein, and many others, questions about the future of the platform, and emerged on the other side with plans for going open source with a new Open webOS.