While Sprint already has the sole carrier deal in the US for the forthcoming Palm Pre, it looks as though O2 has won the deal for the UK, as reported in the Guardian on Sunday.
While the Guardian suggests that O2 will be the exclusive carrier for the Palm Pre in the UK, O2 has not made any official statement on the matter, apart from the usual comment that it does not respond to speculation.
“We do not comment on rumour and speculation, and have made no announcement on this particular handset,” said a spokesperson for the carrier in an official statement.
However, if this does indeed prove to be the case, and O2 is exclusively selling the new Palm Pre, this will be the second feather in its smartphone cap, following on from the success of the iPhone.
However, as Apple is understood to soon be opening up the handset to other operators in the UK, the Palm Pre is just what O2 needs to keep ahead of the competition.
Unlike other contenders to the smartphone throne, the Palm Pre has already been touted as the first serious alternative to the iPhone 3G.
Aside from the touchscreen interface, Wi-Fi, GPS and 8-megapixel camera, the brand-new web operating system (OS) is where it stands out – there is integrated calendar and contacts, so that bringing up a contact will also display if they are online on Google Talk or AIM, as well as email, mobile phone and landline details. The new OS will also allow users to combine their Outlook, Google and Facebook calendar into one view.
The Synergy software is pretty cool too: with combined contact information you can begin a conversation on IM and reply to the same person by text or email easily if you wish.
The browser is also integrated with web applications, so if you book cinema tickets online, they can be automatically added to your calendar.
Universal search means that you can look through contacts, Google or Wikipedia for something, all from the same starting point. The iPhone may have the App Store behind it, but the Palm Pre is aiming to make it so that information is seamlessly integrated in real-time, and at your fingertips.
In related news, Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse is predicting that there will be a shortage of Palm Pre handsets on the US launch day on 6 June, indicating the hype and demand already surrounding the shiny new smartphone.
What of the other smartphone competitors? BlackBerry fans will be pleased to hear that the Storm 2 will be getting rid of RIM’s annoying SurePress technology, which required users to select and then touch an application to launch it. Looks like it’s going to be simply touch and go from here on out.
By Marie Boran