It is the end of an era for webOS fans as the original Palm Pre has disappeared from Sprint’s website. After being on sale for over 1.5 years, the Palm Pre is no longer available online from the nation’s #3 wireless carrier. References to the handout are still interspersed throughout the carrier’s website but this piece of mobile history is quickly disappearing.
In addition to Sprint, the Palm Pre Plus has also quietly exited Verizon’s website. Customers that want the webOS experience must scour their local stores for standing inventory of the Palm smartphone. Customers can also pick from the Pixi Plus, an entry-level offering that never caught on with consumers and is still available for sale. AT&T is the last man standing and the only carrier to still offer the Pre Plus online. AT&T was the last to carry the Palm handset and may have excess inventory to sell through before it can pull the handset from the virtual shelves.
While we say fare-the-well to the Pre, we happily say hello to the Palm Pre 2. The Pre 2 is modest upgrade with a faster 1 GHz processor and a 5-megapixel camera. It shares the same form factor and portrait QWERTY keyboard of its predecessor and is bound to make webOS fans wax nostalgic about the world’s first webOS handset.
Though the Pre 2 will carry on the webOS torch at Verizon, it is not expected to land on Sprint. Once the darling of Palm, Sprint is no longer the first to receive new hardware from the struggling American manufacturer. Perhaps Palm is kicking itself for not launching the Pre Plus earlier with Verizon and does not want make the same mistake with the Pre 2. Regardless of the reason for the withdrawal of webOS from Sprint, it is still a bit sad to see the passing of such a controversial yet, strangely endearing handset.