updated 12:20 pm EDT, Mon May 25, 2009
O2 UK May Carry Palm Pre
O2 could be the first and possibly only carrier to offer both the Palm Pre and iPhone side by side, an apparent source said Sunday. The Guardian hears that the British division of the cell provider will pick up a GSM version of the Pre and plans to ship it by the holidays. Its launch is delayed mostly due to the American launch, where an expected shortage is likely to make international releases unfeasible until later in the year. Bell isn't expected to get the Pre in Canada until August.
The carrier is supposed to have fought off competition from rivals Orange and Vodafone and represents a rare win. Although it remains the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in the country, others have had their own exclusives, such as the HTC Magic at Vodafone, that have undermined O2's position. Palm until now wasn't expected to compete with iPhones on the same carrier due to both its decision to use CDMA for the earliest Pre units as well as the Pre's role in converting customers away from existing iPhone carriers.
O2 hasn't responded to the supposed revelation, though Palm as early as February's Mobile World Congress show had confirmed a GSM version of the Pre was in the works to support other networks. Palm also plans to address a wider range of carriers through the Eos.