Launched in mid-2009, the Palm Pre smartphone was supposed to the savior for the Palm company. It was the first smartphone to use the WebOS operating system which was developed by Palm and based on Linux. It received a ton of hype before its release as well as a number of favorable previews when it was shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show several months before the phone launched. However the Palm Pre's sales were not up to expectations and despite the company releasing more WebOS phones like the Pixi it wasn't enough. In 2010 HP purchased Palm and got access to WebOS.
Now its HP who is promoting the WebOS as one of the big features of its first tablet device, the HP TouchPad. The tablet will be released this Friday but this week HP announced on its official blog site that US and Canadian owners of Palm's previous WebOS based phones (Palm Pre, Pre Plus, Pixi, or Pixi Plus) would be able to get a $50 rebate on the $599 32 GB version of the TouchPad with proof of ownership (the cheaper $499 16 GB version is not eligible for the rebate). The mail in rebate can be used for pre-orders and reservations of the TouchPad device, according to the blog site.
HP is also launching a TouchPad giveaway event on Facebook that will have a number of prizes besides free TouchPads. Users will be encouraged to gain points by answering questions and recruiting friends to the Facebook page. The top 100 points earners by July 15 will get free TouchPads while the top 10 winners will get things like trips to Las Vegas, flying in a fighter jet in Los Angeles and more