What many believe is a make-or-break launch for the company, the Palm Pre will make its European debut with O2 Germany on the 13th October, closely followed by O2 UK and O2 Ireland. The Pre, priced at close to the 3G iPhone, is being positioned by Telefonica Europe for business users by offering it as a bolt-on to existing business contracts together with benefits such as sharable minutes, multiuser billing, as well as unlimited calls to O2 customers and free, 24/7 access to business customer care specialists.
Of note has been the disappearance, in the build up to the launch, of Palm Pre SIM-free offers for around €400 following apparent warnings given to independent retailers by Palm.
While the device has attracted both praise and criticism, analysts are beginning to question the success of the Pre in the US market. Some reports put the number of devices shipped at around 800,000, with others putting the figure at half this number.
However, a report from Interpret reveals that the Pre is second only to the iPhone 3GS when combining three important factors that motivate someone to buy a particular smartphone. Comparing the Pre to the 3GS, the Curve and the Blackberry Storm, Interpret found out that the Pre was considered to be smarter (richer in terms of features) and more productive (increased efficiency) compared to the iPhone 3GS.
The 3GS was significantly cooler than all the other smartphones in the competition but came out last when it came to productivity. This reinforces, according to Interpret, the idea that the 3GS is not for business; Apple itself said that iPhone apps, arguably the most popular features of the iPhone, were not meant for business use.
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