Guess what? O2 has landed the Palm Pre in an exclusive deal. No really...
The UK's largest network has officially confirmed the deal we first heard about in March and subsequently nailed down last week. Parent company Telefonica has also added that it will be the sole seller of the Palm Pre in Ireland as well as Spain and Germany under its Movistar brand.
"We are fast becoming the home of the smartphone with the addition of the hotly-anticipated Palm Pre to our already extensive portfolio," said Telefonica chairman and CEO Matthew Key. "Our customers will be the first outside of North America to experience one of the most successful mobile devices of the year."
"Europe continues to be an important region for Palm, and we're proud to work with O2 and Movistar to spread the excitement Palm Pre has already ignited in North America," added new Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein. "Since we showed Palm Pre at Mobile World Congress in February, there's been a great deal of anticipation for an announcement about European availability, and that day is here."
We need to pull Jon up for a moment here because that's not strictly true. We now formally know who will have exclusive rights to the Palm Pre but we don't yet know its availability. The closest O2 has gone to naming a date is to say "in time for the winter holidays" which isn't much use at all. In fact many had hoped we'd be seeing the UK launch this month while anything before October suddenly looks highly unlikely.
Furthermore, no tariff details are revealed - an increasing concern for many following the expensive iPhone 3GS price plans and the network's domination of the smartphone sector having also landed the Samsung I7500 and Toshiba TG01.
So in short: the Palm Pre will be coming to a network we already knew about at some point in the next six months at unknown price points. Glad that's cleared up...