By May 24, 2009

O2 have the Palm Pre deal for the UK, so say The Guardian

Palm O2 is set to follow up its success with the iPhone in the UK by grabbing an exclusive deal to stock the device that gadget fans reckon is the closest thing to a real competitor to the Apple device, the Palm Pre.

The UK’s largest mobile phone operator, with more than 20 million customers, is understood to have seen off fierce competition for the new handset from Vodafone and Orange, and it will be available in the UK in time for the crucial Christmas period.

For O2, who refused to comment, getting the Palm Pre will add another must-have gadget at a time when Apple is expected to open up the iPhone to other operators in the original four markets – the US, UK, France and Germany – where it initially opted for exclusive deals.

Expanding the number of operators able to stock the iPhone comes as a new model is unleashed on the market. Apple is also expected to unveil a new version of the handset within the next few months, possibly as early as early June, at its worldwide developers conference in San Francisco next month. That event is also expected to provide the first sight of Apple’s latest device, a tablet computer that would bridge the gap between the iPhone and iPod Touch and its laptops.

The iPhone has already sparked a host of copycat touchscreen devices – from the Nokia 5800 and X-Series Walkman to the HTC Magic and G1, both of which run Google’s new Android operating system – and more are expected as the year progresses. RIM is understood to have developed a new version of its BlackBerry Storm touchscreen device that its US partner Verizon Wireless, part-owned by Vodafone, is expected to launch next month. Though the original Storm, which Vodafone and Verizon had under an exclusive deal, has sold well, it received a poor critical reception.

The new version does away with one of the original device’s most annoying features – SurePress, which required the user to press down the screen in order to type or select icons – and opts instead for a traditional touchscreen feel.

via The Guardian

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