UK mobile operators snub HP’s Pre 3 smartphone

Hewlett-Packard’s latest smartphone launch has been snubbed by UK mobile operators, with none of the major carriers planning to sell the device.

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The Pre 3, which runs on H-P’s own webOS software, is due to launch in the UK today (18 August), despite every major UK mobile operator saying it has no plans to sell the handset in store or via their websites.

Vodafone, O2 and Three have confirmed they have no plans to stock the handset “at present”.

Everything Everywhere says, while it will not sell the handset in its Orange and T-Mobile retail outlets or on its websites, it will carry the handset through “indirect channels”, such as Carphone Warehouse.

Carphone Warehouse has confirmed it will stock the handset, although it is not yet listed on its website. A spokeswoman adds that the handset will allow customers to connect to Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

H-P says stockists are “still to be confirmed” and that the company will be sending out further communications tomorrow (19 August) regarding the device.

Pre 3 will be available via online stockists, although Play.com has already reduced the price of the smartphone from £349 to £289.

Predecessor, the Pre 2, which was also launched without any partnerships with mobile networks.

The mobile operator rebuff comes as a major blow to H-P as it gears up a major launch for its debut tablet device, the TouchPad. H-P has enlisted Russell Brand, Manny Pacquiao and Lea Michele for the multi-million pound campaign, which marks the brand’s first appearance on television since the recession.

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