An HP handset that is likely to be the Palm Pre 3 has just passed through the FCC, sporting AT&T 3G capabilities and, more interestingly, reportedly running webOS 2.3 — a version of the operating system that we’ve never heard of. It’s important to note here that there’s no direct evidence of this being the Pre 3, but with the Veer 4G having already gotten FCC approval for the same bands — and no other known HP/Palm handsets on the horizon — the QWERTY slider described in the application would seem to have only one likely identity. Speaking of HP/Palm, this is the first Palm handset to get approval under the Hewlett Packard brand, with HP also changing the line’s model number convention to one reminiscent of iPAQ accessories from years ago.
The real news here, besides a likely AT&T release, is the possible existence of an unannounced version of webOS that falls between 2.2 (thought to be shipping on both the Veer and the Pre 3) and 3.0 (expected to power the company’s Touchpad tablet). It’s obviously not clear from the documents what (if any) features the .1 versioning update would bring, and there’s always the possibility that this was a typo by a tired engineer testing a Gingerbread device on the same day. Still, this is something to keep an eye on: none of the upcoming devices mention a specific OS version on their official spec sheets.