When HP and Palm introduced webOS 2.0 a few months ago, the companies promised that the software wouldn’t just ship on new phones — it would also be available as an update for all existing webOS phones including the Palm Pre, Pre Plus, Pixi, and Pixi Plus. But now the company is doing an about face, saying that webOS 2.0 will not be available for any of those phones.

That means if you want webOS 2.0 you’re going to need to pick up a Palm Pre 2 or the upcoming Pre 3 or Veer phones.

Palm head Jon Rubinstein tells Engadget that the older phones just aren’t powerful enough to run the latest version of the OS. There’s an active webOS homebrew community, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see independent developers hack webOS 2.0 to run on older devices, but it doesn’t sound like HP will officially be supporting webOS 2.0 on anything older than the Pre 2.

The Pre 2, by the way, is available from Verizon starting today, but I can’t see any real reason to buy it when the Pre 3 will hit the streets in a few months, unless you’re desperate for a webOS 2.0 phone right now.

You can checkout my hands-on video with a Pre 2 running webOS 2.0 from a few months ago after the break. The new operating system features search and multitasking improvements, tighter integration with online services, and support for Skype and Adobe Flash.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...