UK MOBILE OPERATORS apparently aren't interested in the HP Pre 3 smartphone, with none of them planning on selling it directly.
It seems that HP's first smartphone running its WebOS operating system is somewhat doomed before it has even been released in many channels. There is a distinct lack of interest from mobile operators and retailers for selling the Pre 3.
Orange told The INQUIRER that it won't be selling the Pre 3 in its stores or online but through indirect channels instead. O2 wasn't interested in the phone, telling us, "We have no plans to stock Pre 3 at this time".
Vodafone said, "We have no plans to offer it at present." And Three has confirmed that it will not be stocking the handset either. There's also no sign of the Pre 3 on The Carphone Warehouse web site but it has confirmed that it will sell the phone from September.
This doesn't bode well for what is a big launch for HP following its Touchpad tablet. Both the Touchpad and Pre 3 have wireless Touchstone technology that allows them to communicate with each other.
The Pre 3's predecessors, the Palm Pre and Pre 2 which were launched before HP bought smartphone maker Palm, did not do well either. The latter was launched without deals with any mobile networks but HP had been hoping to revive the smartphone's fortunes.
If you really want to get hold of the phone then all is not lost, however. Clove.co.uk has the phone in stock now for £360 SIM free and Expansys.com has stock expected in six days with a price of £394.
SIM free might not be the best option and it is possible to get the Pre 3 on a contract even though none of the mobile operators are selling it directly. Mobiles.co.uk is offering the handset on Orange and T-Mobile with contracts starting at £20 with no initial payment for the phone. µ