I just wanted to weigh in with a separate thread, and expand on a point I made in another thread:

There are a lot of folks, both supporters and detractors of webOS phones, that seem to be getting caught in this trap of "well, the next Pre can't hope to compete with iPhone or Droids". From what we know of the upcoming devices, they're probably right, as far as the rest of 2011 goes.

But as HP has repeatedly pointed out, the next Pres don't need to in order to be a success.

The vast majority of cellphone users are still using feature phones. The latest figures I could locate were from 2010, "Feature Phones ... made up over 75 percent of the handset market in 2010"

My wife and son current own LG Lotuses. That's a competent little feature phone - a clamshell with a qwerty keyboard, fairly snappy MIDP apps. We took a cross-country trip recently, and while their phones were charging, they took turns with my Pre-. A short learning curve on the gestures, but once they mastered them they absolutely had to have one. It's a very sensible and self-consistent UI. And it's more like using a computer than a smartphone, with the idea of "windows" or "cards" making more sense than the one-dimensional menu tree of iPhones or most Droids (or MIDP phones, for that matter).

That Pre- is a 2-year old phone, with plenty of shortcomings, but to a java-based feature phone user, it's simple and intuitive. When new devices are available and priced sensibly, they'll be switching.

Personally I think HP is on to something. Us geeks can discuss the merits of iOS, hardware capabilities, "4G" (god I hate when carriers use that term - I don't think it means what they think it means). And we'll doubtless buy the fastest, trendiest handsets, unless we're fans of a particular OS or builder.

But there's a huge, untapped market out there. HP doesn't need to convince them that webOS is better than Android or Honeycomb or iOS. It's a bit of a gamble - maybe the market can only sustain a 25% smartphone user base - but I think it's an educated gamble, made by a huge company that can afford to make a few.

So yes, your iThing or cute-little-green-robot phone may knock the socks off of Pre3 or Veer, but you're free to hang on to it. Folks still using WML browsers might have their socks knocked off by webOS.

Just my 2c.