There's good news and bad news, webOS fans. The good news is that HP just announced that anyone who bought a Pre, Pre Plus, Pixi, or Pixi Plus is eligible for a $50 mail-in rebate on the 32GB TouchPad, which is a nice little bonus for the early adopters of webOS who want to jump into the future of the platform. The company's blog post says as much: "We appreciate your support -- as customers, as champions, and even occasionally as our most thoughtful critics -- and we’d like to make it just a little easier for you to experience the latest version of the power of HP webOS." It would be very thoughtful if not for the bad news.
The bad news? Well, you might remember that HP said it would "make things right" for all the Pre / Pixi owners out there who wouldn't be receiving an update to webOS 2, and if we're reading the tone of this blog post correctly, this rebate is how they're doing it -- a $50 mail-in rebate on only the $599 32GB TouchPad. That's pretty weak, especially since the webOS 1.x Pre / Pixi won't be able to make use of key TouchPad features like Touch-to-Share or messaging integration. (Shared calling should work, at least -- the TouchPad just acts as a huge Bluetooth headset.)
Now, we're sure HP has its reasons for offering a mail-in rebate on the TouchPad instead of something more meaningful -- coordinating promotions on subsidized phones is undoubtedly a tough task to manage across carriers -- but we're also sure most Pre / Pixi owners would rather have a new Pre 3 or Veer with the latest OS at this point, not a $50 discount on a $599 tablet that won't fully integrate with their existing handset. Let's hope HP expands the program to cover its new phones soon -- or at least allows people to use the rebate on the $499 16GB TouchPad as well. That would really be making it right.
Update: HP has sent out emails to Pre, Pre Plus, Pixi, and Pixi Plus owners already. Luckily, you won't need to dig out your original receipt, as a serial number will constitute enough proof of purchase. You will need the receipt from your 32GB TouchPad and the UPC code, but at least it applies to any purchase or pre-order as long as you send it in before July 31st.