The smaller of the two new WebOS smartphones promised by HP (NYSE: HPQ) earlier this year is ready to face the public. HP and AT&T (NYSE: T) announced Wednesday that the HP Veer will go on sale May 15 for just $99 with a two-year contract.
It has been an awfully long time–roughly 10 months–since HP completed its proposed acquisition of Palm, with eyes on the WebOS operating system as a software edge in selling tablets, printers, and even PCs. But the first WebOS product out the door with an HP sticker will be the Veer, an updated take on the diminutive Palm Pixi WebOS phone released prior to the HP deal.
One question about how HP might stand out in a crowded smartphone market could have been addressed by the selling price of the Veer. That’s about as aggressive as it gets in smartphone pricing (with a contract) these days, and HP is going to need something to help it raise the profile of WebOS among developers and consumers. A critical favorite for its notification and multitasking features, WebOS is a distinct fifth when it comes to interest and sales behind Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), Google’s Android, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry, and even Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.
Two other new devices are expected later this year from HP: the Pre 3 and the TouchPad tablet.