Palm Pre UK launch may outshine iPhone debut

Estimations released Monday suggest that this week’s launch of the Palm Pre in the UK will far outshine that of the Apple iPhone’s 2007 debut.

Market research firm TNS recently interviewed over 1,000 UK adults, with 26 per cent responding that they would definitely or probably buy the Palm Pre when it is launched on Friday, October 16. This figure is almost double the 16 per cent who said they would buy the iPhone when TNS undertook similar research in 2007.

Among existing O2 customers TNS discovered that the purchase intent figures are even more impressive, with 27 per cent keen to buy the Pre compared with just 17 per cent wanting the iPhone prior to its launch. Fortunately for O2, this suggests that the carrier could use the device to maintain customer loyalty, a useful trend given that O2 is due to lose its iPhone exclusivity deal in a matter of months.

In fact, O2 will likely benefit from its exclusivity deal with Palm, with TNS revealing that 32 per cent of respondents currently on other networks would switch to O2 in order to get hold of the Pre.

Kevin Evans, associate director at TNS Technology, said: “The Palm Pre is already being touted as the ‘iPhone killer’ and our research certainly suggests it’s going to shake up the market. The decision to offer the Pre free to those on a 24-month contract is in sharp contrast to the £269 price of the iPhone at its launch, while the launch timing capitalises on the fact that thousands of UK iPhone early-adopters are approaching the end of their 18-month contract period, while the next-generation iPhone is not expected until next June.”

O2 Germany will be the first operator to get its hands on the Pre on October 13.

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  1. Avatar Tony Woolstencroft 12/10/2009 @ 1:54 pm

    I’d love to know where these 1000 people came from. As far as I can tell O2 aren’t making much of a deal about the release. All the O2 stores I’ve checked locally don’t have any advertising on display, no samples to look at and the staff are blissfully unaware of what the Pre actually is. With the HTC HD2 coming out the following Monday, I’d be very surprised if the launch is much of an event. All the iPhone users I know are totally commited to their phones and have no desire to change.

  2. Avatar Jan ten Sythoff 12/10/2009 @ 3:43 pm

    It is unrealistic that a quarter of the adult population in UK has even heard of the Palm Pre

  3. Avatar iPhone App Developer 12/10/2009 @ 3:46 pm

    Palm Pre UK launch may outshine iPhone debut…
    but those of us in the real world know it won’t.
    “The Palm Pre is already being touted as the ‘iPhone killer’ – lol

  4. Avatar Murat 12/10/2009 @ 3:52 pm

    Are you insane? I will personally bet anyone £200 that the Pre won’t do better than the iPhone in the UK.

    No one in my social circle even knows what a Pre is. It’s not exactly a hot topic like the iPhone was.

  5. Avatar Spavin 13/10/2009 @ 9:48 am

    This has to be some of the crassest PR I’ve read in a long time – and a shame that you’ve just re-produced it in such an uncritical fashion. It’s complete rubbish and, like others have said, when I was in an O2 store recently, the staff were less than knowledgable about details/launch dates etc. Still it’s going to be a busy weekend – if 26 per cent of the UK population are definitelty going to buy a Pre then they’ll need c.16 million handsets on the shelves…

  6. Avatar GERARD 13/10/2009 @ 1:39 pm

    Palm Pre did not benefit from the same hype of iPhone, you see the difference of a Steve Jobs there and how they can influence the media, but Palm Pre or not Plam Pre the iPhone will be an old fashioned expensive device sooner than you expect

  7. Avatar ikem charles apache 13/10/2009 @ 1:59 pm

    yeah,the palm pre has every tech to outwit the iphone at least for the next 18,we better watch out cos the pre has all it takes.try it

  8. Avatar don karleaone 13/10/2009 @ 2:00 pm

    when iPhone launched many people did not even know what a smartphone was. Now they are better educated. This is refelcted in higher numbers for Pre.

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