Palm Pre launches with Telefónica/O2 in Europe

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There were a few leaks and rumours about this last week, but now it’s been officially confirmed that the Palm Pre will launch exclusively with mobile network Telefónica, initially in four major European markets.

Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany will get the device first on the O2 and Movistar networks, just before the winter holidays. Pricing has not been announced.

This is something of a coup since, at least in the UK, Telefónica-owned O2 already has the iPhone deal, thus making it the sole arbiter of two of the hottest phones right now. However, the Pre maybe isn’t as hot as it was pre-launch. O2 already has exclusive British rights to the iPhone including the 3GS version, giving it an edge over rivals Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and 3 this summer.

Interestingly, the Pre could well benefit from being sold alongside the iPhone, as its iPhone-like UI might appeal to people who also want a real keyboard. Me? I’m happy with the iPhone’s virtual one, but then I’m used to it.

I’ll be checking out he Pre in real life later today. Although it’s had plenty of reviews Stateside, it hasn’t come up against the more sophisticated European mobile market as yet.

  • claudio

    Before winter holidays. Seems they want to get it before x-mass. Nice move.

    But still waiting for the Pre to appear in Belgium.

  • andraz

    Hopefully SDK will be legally available by then.

  • Tony A-twi Wang

    hello world! Love your blog!! Super fans!

    • Yi-Ru Lin

      Palm pre is an idea phone for you~

    • Jules Morgan

      Thanks Super Tony.

  • Dave Nattriss

    So we’re talking mid-December? Is there any explanation why we’re having to wait another 24+ weeks in the UK? By the time its available they’ll probably have announced a new version!

    If Palm want to succeed with this handset/OS, they really need to ramp things up much quicker

    • memson

      CDMA vs GSM. As we have poor CDMA coverage in the UK, it would be foolish to release a CDMA version here.

      • Robert Synnott

        Assuming you mean CDMA in the way that people mean when they say that the Pre is CDMA (Qualcomm stack) there is no coverage whatsoever in the UK, or indeed just about anywhere outside the US.

      • memson

        I thought the UK had basic CDMA (as opposed to the 3G W CDMA) coverage in larger metropolitan areas? Maybe not then… the Pre (as-is) is even more useless then, till a GSM version.

  • Chris Lunn

    Yeah it’s disappointing. I know O2 want to push the new iphone as hard as possible before they get distracted but even so, they’ve hardly got any new iphones in stock anyway! It’s no fun waiting for a phone that other people in the world have had for 6 months!

    • memson

      Surely, you’d rather have a phone that works? CDMA is pretty shoddy in the UK and GSM is essential to make a success. O2 are therefore waiting for Palm on this one. Hands tied.

      • Chris Lunn

        Don’t get me wrong, of course I’d like a phone that works but it’s frustrating that the PR machine gets going, we get excited and then we have to wait…yes I am impatient… ;)

  • Jonny Tokyo

    Time to leave Three (3UK), their handsets are terrible compared to o2, T-Mobile, Orange etc.

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