It’s hard being an Aussie Palm fanboy


A bit late to the party, but reading this in PC World Australia pretty much confirmed my fears.

In case you missed it, HP overnight launched three new devices based on Palm’s webOS platform; a TouchPad tablet, a Pre 3 smartphone and a compact Veer smartphone. Sadly, none of these slick-looking products are likely to make it down under.

And how does Ross Catanzariti know this?

Brad Swiney, PR Manager, Personal Systems Group, HP Australia: “HP will not be launching these WebOS devices in Australia at the same time as the US and at this early stage cannot speculate on local pricing. Specific region and country availability details have not yet been announced, however HP will first be targeting markets where WebOS is currently available.”

No webOS devices are currently available in Australia or Singapore, meaning that we can assume no new devices being launched here or there anytime soon. Still, he didn't explicitely say they wouldn't be launched at all, so there's room to be optimistic, maybe?

You know what? No, there isn’t

Palm, or HP, or whoever you are, can we have a chat?

I've been a loyal user of your devices since I was first given a Palm IIIx in primary school. I had absolutely no practical business use for a PDA, but I loaded it up with software and even tried my hand at writing some of my own. I got so fast at Graffiti I even started writing the glyphs in my school notes by accident. It was a reflex!

My first smartphone was a Tungsten W, a device that married the ease of use of the classic Palm platform with a full QWERTY keyboard and the maddening design decision to only include a speaker and microphone in the hands-free cable. Still, it was better than anything else.

Since then I inherited a Palm V, I got a series of Treos, and finally an adorable little Centro which I use as my secondary phone for my foreign SIM cards (pictured on the far right in this photo taken in 2008 or something!)

My iPods and such


When a GSM Palm Pre was first announced, I was extremely excited. A friend of mine from the States had let me try his unit and in my opinion webOS blew the iPhone OS (still called that at the time) and Android out of the water.

Unfortunately, you quickly demonstrated your apathy for the markets that myself and my father (who also wanted one) resided, and gradually I lost patience and got an iPhone 3G. It was a great phone, so much so that I caved and got a 4 last year as well.

With the announcement of the TouchPad once again I see a device I would prefer to use over a similar Apple product, but if I were to ever get a tablet computer it would probably be an iPad. I could go to the trouble of ordering one from the States, or getting a friend to post me one, or jumping through another series of hoops, but what's the point when Apple not only acknowledges the existence of my market, but is actually willing and happy to have my money! Heck even some Android makers do too, to be fair!

I'm ready to call it quits Palm, or HP, or whatever you are. Despite still wanting to be, it should not be this hard to be your customer/fanboy! Oh well, se a vida e.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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