UK operators snub latest Palm Pre 2

Despite its smartphone OS being considered among the best in the industry, Palm's latest handset has been shunned by all four UK mobile operators. While the UK and Germany were selected as launch countries for the new Palm Pre 2, UK operators have chosen not to offer the smartphone.

This move, which will be seen by other European operators as a body blow for Palm's latest device, is the company's first smartphone launch since the manufacturer was acquired by HP in May this year.

O2 UK, which still stocks the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus--it dropped the Palm Pre in April following numerous customer complaints over software quality--is among those not willing to stock the Palm Pre 2. The company was reported as stating that it already had enough smartphones in its portfolio.

Regardless of this high-level rejection, the Palm Pre 2 is for sale, SIM-free, for £399 on the manufacturer's website. Palm has also said it planned to back the launch of the Pre 2 with a significant advertising programme starting early next year, along with announcing other new webOS products, such as tablets, which could connect to the device.

Little detail has been made public following the world debut of the Palm Pre 2 in France with SFR a few weeks ago. Other reports indicate that pre-orders for the device will start next week in the US, although this now appears to have been delayed. Verizon Wireless is expected to be first to carry the Palm Pre 2 in the US.

This latest Palm Pre is said to include a much improved upgrade to webOS 2.0, a 5MP camera and a 1GHz processor. However, an actual ship date for the Pre 2 remains unclear.

Undaunted by the UK disinterest, CEO of Palm, Jon Rubinstein, said that the company had some great products in the works, including "smartphones and a great tablet. I think we have several products that will be hits when they come out."

For more:
- see this Mobile Today article

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