HP is reportedly working on a webOS-based phone that will use a very popular design: a bar shape without a keyboard.
All previous models running this operating system have including a physical keyboard, but an image that has appeared on the Web is purportedly of an upcoming HP device that will depend on an on-screen keyboard for text input.
The source for this leaked image did not reveal the size of this model’s display, but did describe it as an HTC Evo 4G running the webOS, which certainly implies that the HP model will have a large screen — the Evo 4g has a 4.3-inch display.
The leaked image appears to have a front-facing camera, something that is also a feature of the recently-announced HP Pre 3.
All other specifications for this keyboard-less webOS smartphone remain a mystery at this time.
Is it the Elan?
This isn’t the first time there has been an unconfirmed report of a webOS-based phone. Almost exactly a year ago there was a rumor that Palm Inc. was working on just such a device.
At that time, this model went by the code-name Elan. It’s not impossible it has taken a year to bring the concept to market, as there has been quite a bit to distract its developers — last summer, Palm was acquired by HP.
More about Palm’s webOS
The webOS is the replacement for the venerable Palm OS. It is a multi-tasking, touch-oriented operating system able to wirelessly synchronize a wide variety of data with online services like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook, as well as Microsoft Exchange.
The webOS includes an on-device app store, and a growing collection of third-party software is available.
HP recently unveiled two upcoming smartphones and a tablet that will run this operating system: the HP Pre 3, HP Veer, and HP TouchPad.