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O2 Confirms Palm Pre Exclusive

Gordon Kelly


O2 Confirms Palm Pre Exclusive

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...


Palm Pre UK Product Page

Zero 1

July 7, 2009, 4:33 pm

wow, that is just monopoly. O2 is getting all the good phones out. I m a first time customer with O2 on the new jesus phone. I must say the network is pretty weak, reception is not that great either compare to when i was with 3 mobile.


July 7, 2009, 4:39 pm

If this phone doesn't land in the UK until the winter, will anyone even care about it? It certainly wont be able to fetch the premiums that the iPhone can, so I wouldn't panic too much about O2 pricing it insanely - Palm are going to want to shift a lot of these.

Zero - I'm not a big fan of O2's coverage, either. However, it did improve over time with my 3G on the v2 software... I'm hoping there'll be software updates from Apple that improve reception. But yes, Telefonica need to invest heavily on O2 UK's physical network, it's not up to scratch.


July 7, 2009, 4:40 pm

O2? I cancelled my contract with them years ago and never looked back since. Overpriced tariffs, phones and bad customer service were what I remember of them. I'll stick with '3' for now (reception isn't a problem as I live in the city) and will get the N97 soon.


July 7, 2009, 5:25 pm

Anyone see the O2/AT&T parallels? Expensive rates, network needs updated, lust? Apple seems to have a particularly cruel streak in them to sidle up to such networks. I'm still stuck on PAYG with O2 and even for pre-paid phones, the credit drains - bloody - fast.


July 7, 2009, 5:57 pm

I just can't get excited about the Pre - I guess I'd have to play with one first. That slide out keyboard just doesn't look right.


July 7, 2009, 6:06 pm

well... i was excited but not really now... pre is argualy the most "user-centric/friendly" phone.. but we're getting htc hero, toshiba tg1, and what seems to be sony-ericsson android with the usual stunning design... so its gonna take more for palm to "win back" lost ground... (i'm probably one of the lost one)...


July 7, 2009, 7:14 pm

Hmm, I guess if I want one I'll have to change network. At least I know who's getting it in Ireland then. That's not the end of the world here though, as O2 have a pretty decent network here.

The HTC Magic does sound tempting though.

Dave 11

July 7, 2009, 7:57 pm

I was really excited about the Pre too, mainly because of the excellent reviews on here but being tied in to a long plan on an expensive tariff is one hell of a turn off. With the speed the smartphone network is developing, what will be on offer in 18 months time when still tied in to this length of contract


July 7, 2009, 8:26 pm

At this rate of customer expansion the o2 data network will be next to useless any day now.

I have noticed a nose dive in call quality, a massive increase in busy network problems and dropped or just not connected calls in the last few months. Today I went from SW London into central London around TC Road and the o2 network said it had full signal yet managed to miss two calls that went straight to voicemail without so much as a single ring. The phone was on a table in the open. (iPhone 3G)

Also, not once did I manage to get a solid reliable 3G signal throughout the whole of my journey over 4 hours. As soon as it would connect on 3G it would eventually fail and fall onto EDGE then just give up. Then 3G would pop back to life for 3 mins only to fail again. This makes listening to music blinking annoying since the interference the phone makes on the GSM signal is ear breaking. That's pathetic o2. I don't care if it's lunchtime and everyone's using the network, I don't care if your having 'unprecedented high call volumes'- they're hardly unprecedented if it's always bl**dy busy that time of day & I don't care if your Granny's sick - Sort it out now with more capacity or i'm off.

I've just about had enough of o2, there's not a chance in Hell that they will improve their contention ratio in the foreseeable future now that they have all those juicy contracts under their belts. Shame, because I actually liked their customer service department.


July 7, 2009, 8:47 pm

Like I said...in..(O2 Grabs Samsung I7500 Android Handset)

"Beginning to sound like unfair (competitive) practise to me. I can't understand why the manufacturers are so star/awe struck with shacking up with O2. But there you go...."

A feeling deja vu anyone?


July 7, 2009, 8:47 pm

by the time this comes out i doubt anybody will care enough to glance at it.

at least here's hopong that there won't be an "O2" logo slapped across the back (or on the front, or "shudder" O2 themes draped inside)


July 7, 2009, 8:55 pm

I am predicting the Pre will be released by the end of Q3 and it will cost £97.86 on an 18 month contract. I really can't see them delaying for another 6 months until Christmas, unless US demand for the device is increasing rapidly. Sales usually peak during the launch month then level off so they should be able to build enough stock for European launch in the next 90 days. I also can't see O2 selling the Pre cheaper unless they can't shift any. Based on the UK success of 3GS at £185 that is not very likely.


July 8, 2009, 1:22 pm

Good news for O2, bad news for the consumer :(

I have about 6 weeks till I could upgrade with O2 and change from my Orbit 2 (=HTC Polaris) to an iPhone 3GS. I have been eagerly awaiting the moment but stories of them overheating and using more current than can be supplied by a car during satnav operation, have somewhat put me off. I was interested in the competition but now see that will lock me into O2 for longer whilst being fleeced. It's not like their coverage is all that fantastic either.

I've decided just to move to a 30 day SIM only contract with whoever can do the best deal on it and then jump when something I really want comes out. Until then I will tart up my Win Mobile phone with SPB Shell 3.0, pop in a massive micro SD and buy a mini-USB to 3.5mm adapter - it can be my cheap-as-chips iPhone substitute!!


July 8, 2009, 2:42 pm

^ And it will still be better than an iPhone.


July 8, 2009, 2:52 pm

@Retset: overheating and using more current than can be supplied by a car during satnav operation,

Not sure what car charger the other person was using with his Iphone3g, but I've had no problems using the Sat-Nav and charging from the cigarette lighter, it does get warm though when using in Sat-Nav mode, but I've not had any overheating issues.


July 8, 2009, 7:09 pm


Look at how much of the country O2 covers for internet access. Makes you wonder how all the smartphones they are grabbing will operate.


July 8, 2009, 8:07 pm

@Chocoa: Look at how much of the country O2 covers for internet access.

Well 3G isn't the only way to get internet access, but yeah O2 really need to do a bit of investment in that area, especially as they now appear to have the smartphone market cornered.

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