HP is not only dumping the webOS TouchPad with massive price reductions, but our friend the Pre2 is also on fire sale. An unlocked (GSM) Pre2 smart phone is going for $50 at hp.com.
Why would anybody consider the Pre2 at this moment in time? Well, to be frank, we're probably not going to see the Pre3. I highly doubt there is even any Pre3 product in the pipeline (I could be wrong!). Plus, the Pre2 it is an awesome device! I would say that the Pre2 is everything that our original Pre phone was meant to be -- it's speedy, has voice dial, webOS2.x, solid construction.
The unlocked Pre2 will hook up with either AT&T or T-Mobile's networks.
Your best deal? Grab a Pre2 and use it with an unlimited T-Mobile Prepaid service. For $50/month, you get unlimited everything and you are not tied down to a 2-year contract. Check this link for tips on getting your Pre2 setup with T-Mobile.
Last night I took an hour to activate my unlocked GSM Pre2 and get it onto a prepaid T-Mobile account. The webOS 2.1 device was a developer phone that I received direct from HP which I've been using to develop some apps for my online youth ministry management website, JabberGroups.com.
There were a few lessons learned, however, overall it was a pretty smooth process. Hopefully, this might help somebody else who is attempting to do the same thing.
One thing to keep in mind -- I don't live near a T-Mobile store, so I had to do everything on my own. It might be easier to just walk into the store and ask for help.
Here are the steps.
- Get an unlocked HP Pre2. Mine came directly from HP as part of their developer promotion, but Amazon and Ebay are good places to pick one up also. When you get your hands on a Pre2, you will quickly realize that it is everything that the original Pre was meant to be! Excellent device!
- You will need to purchase a T-Mobile Prepaid SIM card. I got mine at Amazon for about $5.
- Next, I ran the webOS Doctor process. Because I was previously using this device for developer purposes, I did not have it associated with a Palm Profile. Running webOS Doctor restores your device to factory condition, making it ready to activate with a Palm Profile and match it to a carrier. This process will take several minutes. If you are obtaining a brand new Pre2 device, you probably won't need to do this step.
- While that is going on, follow the activating instructions that came with the PrePaid Sim Card kit. There is a weblink that you will need to visit to key in the necessary information to establish your account. You can go ahead and select your plan and add funds. I skipped the plan selection / funding step because I was wanting to sign up for a "Pay as You Go" plus Web DayPass ($1.49 day), which I was not seeing during this process.
- Now, my Pre2 was ready for the SIM Card. I popped it in and the phone quickly recognized that it was now on the T-Mobile network.
- At that point, the Pre2 attempts to go through the account setup process. However, it couldn't do anything because there was no data established with the new T-Mobile account. The Pre2 requires a data connection (not wi-fi) to get setup. A quick phone call to T-Mobile revealed that I could NOT simply sign up for the Web DayPass plan without first having a data connection to TMobile's network. I know, a Catch-22!
To get around this, I simply opted for the lowest priced voice/data plan they offered (1,500 Talk/Text and 30MB Data) for $30/month. Now that this account is established, I can now switch between plans to get exactly what I desire.
Why go through all of this? And why T-Mobile?
Well, I'm at the end of my 1-year Verizon contract on my Pre Plus and am anticipating the Pre3 later this summer. T-Mobile offers very attractive prices on their PrePaid plans (more affordable than AT&T). So, although there was a little hassle involved, I'm now looking at a sweet, activated Pre2 as my "bridge" device. I'll wait til the Pre3 comes out and gets discounted - and then make the jump to a new contract device.
Or....maybe I'll really enjoy not being tied to a contract! I'll keep you updated here at weboscenter.com....
Now that's more like it!
Shop via the HP Wireless Central website and you can score a Verizon Pre2 for just $50. We knew it would get down to this price range pretty quickly and it is great to see it here. Sure, there is a 2-year contract to sign, plus no more free wireless hotspot, but if you need a Pre right now, here's your deal!
So, who's a taker?
Our little Pre2 received some love this week. On Friday, Skype announced that it's service was now available on Palm Pre2 for Verizon subscribers. The Pre2 now joins (finally!) the ranks of iPhone and Android devices that are able to use Skype's calling and messaging services.
From the Skype blog:
With Skype mobile built in, you can make free calls to friends and family on Skype, great value calls to landlines and mobile phones overseas, and send IMs to people on Skype anywhere in the world.
Will we see any Skype action for legacy webOS devices (i.e. the ones that most Palm users have right now)? We wouldn't count on it. But it's nice to know that moving forward, Skype will be a viable app.
Yes, the Palm/HP Pre2 finally arrived in the U.S. this week with very little fan fare. And, by "little", I mean none. It's almost as if Verizon, the only U.S. carrier with the Pre2, has other things on its plate. Say, maybe the launch of the most popular phone in the world on their network?
You'll have to search the Verizon website to find the little Pre buddy. Or just use this link. And reports from across the country are showing in-store Verizon staff to be fairly un-knowledgeable on anything Pre-related.
To add insult to injury, one of the remaining features that makes the Verizon Pre2 appealing -- free Mobile Hotspot -- is no longer. Verizon has opted to return to charging $20/month for that service.
All in all, a horrible launch by HP and Verizon.
Now, the Pre2 is NOT a bad phone! In fact, it's a great little device housing the best OS on the market - webOS. Unfortunately, a combination of bad timing, production delays, corporate mergers and uninterested carriers has resulted in a Pre that is too late to the game and too expensive for folks to care about. Well, we do CARE about it, it's just that who wants to sign up for a 2-year contract when we have seen glimpses of Pre3 goodness set to arrive before Fall 2011?
Prediction. The Verizon Pre2 will be heavily discounted within a few weeks; and become extremely affordable off-contract by April. Much like we are seeing with the Palm Pixi now. Verizon and HP will want to move inventory before the launch of Pre3 and Veer.
Bottom Line. Pre2 is a great device, a much-needed upgrade from Pre Plus (and minus), AND it is the only way for us to get our hands on webOS 2.o until new devices come out. But, plopping down cash and signing a 2-year contract for a phone that will be shoved off the stage in 4-6 months is too much to swallow.
Those "Coming Months" that HP/Palm keeps talking about maybe finally close at hand. According to our friends at PreCentral.net, the Palm Pre 2 for Verizon has possibly shown up in Best Buy's inventory system. The off-contract (retail) price is listed as $500.
However, no confirmation from HP/Palm or Verizon. And no word on an actual release date or contract price. But, usually when something pops up in the inventory system at Best Buy, it is only a matter of a few weeks or less before an actual product is on the shelves. Let's hope!
It will sure be nice to see our beloved Palm devices back on the retail shelves again and back in the competitive marketplace. But the delayed timing is likely to frustrate the faithful Verizon Palm Pre Plus users!
Will they upgrade to the Pre2? Or sit it out, waiting for the so-called "aggressive" release of new Palm devices in 2011? What will you do?
It will be very interesting, over the course of the next few months, to learn the reasons for the delayed introduction into the U.S. marketplace. But, regardless, it looks like some more Palm "newness" is coming ashore!