Hewlett Packard's first WebOS smartphone is set to hit the market May 15 when AT&T begins selling the HP Veer 4G.
AT&T said Wednesday it will sell the Veer online and in its retail stores for $99.99 with a two-year contract. The device is exclusive to AT&T and comes in white and black, but its most distinctive attribute is its tiny size: weighing in at 3.63 ounces, the Veer is about the size of a credit card and the thickness of a deck of cards.
Comparisons to mobile phones featured in the movie Zoolander have been made, and they aren't entirely unwarranted. But although it's true that young children might be best equipped to type on the Veer's slide-out physical keypad, HP and AT&T are endeavoring to clear up any misconceptions that might exist about the Veer's features and functionality.
AT&T describes the Veer as a "refreshing alternative to the larger smartphone devices," while HP notes that the OS under the hood is where the magic happens.
"Don’t let Veer’s small size fool you -- the flexibility of webOS makes a great smartphone experience possible on a smaller screen, so it packs a punch with lots of available apps from the webOS App Catalog," said HP Palm employee blogger Jon Zilber, in a Wednesday blog post.
In addition to being able to download apps from HP's WebOS App Catalog, Veer owners will also have the option of using AT&T's pre-loaded mobile hotspot application, which requires a DataPro 4GB subscription and allows users to share wireless connectivity with up to five additional devices. AT&T Navigator, a subscription offering that takes advantage of the Veer's built-in GPS, is also included.
The Veer's multitouch display features 18-bit color and 320x400 resolution, but at 2.6 inches, it's no HTC Evo 4G. The Veer is powered by a 800-Mhz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7230 processor, and other key features include a 5 megapixel camera, Flash support, 8 GB of internal storage and compatibility with HP's new TouchStone charging pad.
The Veer is HP's first WebOS device to hit the market, to be followed by the Pre3 smartphone and TouchPad tablet sometime "this summer," according to HP. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computing giant has been stepping up its rhetoric in recent months in an effort to show that just because it's arriving late to the mobile market doesn't mean it's not serious about dominating it.
There have been some comparisons between HP and Apple, the only other mobile device player that owns both the hardware and software. But Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group, said in March that HP plans to take on all comers, including Apple, Samsung, Dell and Lenovo.
"We’re going to fight everybody," Bradley said at HP's Americas Partner Conference. "The list is long, but they should be more worried about how they're going to compete with HP."