HP webOS Connect Event (Toronto)

Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I love webOS, (now defunct) Palm’s amazing mobile operating system. I’ve had the original Palm Pre, the Palm Pre Plus, and the Pre 2 for as long as I can remember, and now HP is launching the TouchPad on July 1st in the United States, followed by the imminent launch in Canada on July 15.

Today, at the Spoke Club in Downtown Toronto, HP held their webOS Connect event for developers, where Richard Kerris, VP of Worldwide Developer Relations, spoke about the TouchPad and HP’s future with webOS. It was very informative, and learned that HP is dead serious about competing with the iPad and various Android heavyweights of the world. Starting next week, Kerris announced that HP is starting a huge marketing campaign for the TouchPad, which includes TV spots featuring Lady Gaga, Manny Pacquiao and Miranda Cosgrove. Attendees also got to see a sneak peak of one of the unreleased TV spots, which featured Russell Brand. It was absolutely hilarious.  Thank god they’re veering away (no pun intended) from the hideous and traumatizing original Palm Pre marketing blitz.

I also got to spend some one-on-one time with Darren Leroux, Smartphone Product Manager, where we chatted about HP’s future, and his opinions on the TouchPad launch. He was very confident in demonstrating HP’s direction against the iPad and the PlayBook, stating that they’re working diligently to make sure the TouchPad is a success. This is great news, as I’ve always loved the devices Palm has created, and with news that there are 3 million TouchPad’s being shipped the first year, things can only look better and better for HP.

Besides talking numbers, I had a chance to play around with the Pre 3, and let me tell you, it’s a fantastic device. I’ve loved the Pre 2, but everything about the Pre 3 oozes sexy and suave. Everything was as smooth as butter, thanks to the 1.4 ghZ Snapdragon ‘Scorpion’ processor. Apps loaded quickly, the screen was beautiful, and the form factor was perfect. When asked about the launch date (which is still up in the air), Leroux stated that it should be arriving soon, before the end of summer. That’s good news, because honestly, I’m tired of waiting for it to be released!

All in all, it seems that HP is taking their acquisition of Palm very seriously, and if they play the cards right with their media blitz in the next couple of weeks (and release the Pre 3 by the end of August!), they have a surefire hit on their hands.

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