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Telefonica/O2 confirmed as Palm Pre carrier

Telefonica gets Palm Pre exclusive

European operator Telefonica has been confirmed as the exclusive carrier of the Palm Pre smartphone in the UK, Ireland, Spain and Germany.

But while the much anticipated Pre is already available on Sprint Nextel’s EV-DO network in the US, it will not hit shelves in Europe in its HSDPA form until December.

The gap may work out to O2’s advantage however, as concerns were raised about how the carrier would position the Pre, given that it is already the exclusive provider of the Apple iPhone 3G and 3GS and both Palm’s and Apple’s devices are seen to be targeted at the same market.

Indeed, Matthew Key, chairman and chief executive officer for Telefónica Europe, said, “We are fast becoming the home of the smartphone with the addition of the hotly-anticipated Palm Pre to our already extensive portfolio. Our customers will be the first outside of North America to experience one of the most successful mobile devices of the year.”

Touted as a serious competitor to the iPhone and Nokia’s flagship N97, the Pre packs a slide out keyboard and touch screen interface and is available with wifi and GPS. It boasts 8GB of storage and a 3 megapixel camera and probably a handset first in the shape of an inductive charging unit.

The inductive charging system allows the device to be set down on a separately solid tablet-ike charging dock, without the user having to worry about fitting connections together.

The device is also the first Palm gadget to run the company’s flagship webOS platform. Jumping on the cloud computing bandwagon, webOS allows consumers to pull their contact, calendars and personal information down from the internet on any device, wirelessly. A key feature of the Palm platform is synchronisation of information between multiple services, so if the same contact is listed in the user’s phonebook and on their social networking sites, both contact details are pulled into the same interface. Likewise with multiple conversation platforms such as text message and email, as well as calendars.

The OS also supports full multitasking, allowing users to keep multiple activities open and move between them as they might flip through a deck of cards. They can also close an application by flicking it off the top of the screen.

Coincidentally, former Apple heavyweight Jon Rubinstein replaced Ed Colligan as chairman and CEO of Palm after 16 years at the helm, just last month.

Rubinstein was instrumental in turning Apple’s fortunes around in the late 90s, and was also the visionary behind the original iPod, which Apple is now using as a platform to carve out a niche in the mobile space.


One comment

  1. iPhone App Developer 07/07/2009 @ 12:46 pm

    The original Palm never developed as big a following in Europe as it did in the US. I see no reason why the new Palm will fair better.

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