updated 12:35 pm EDT, Mon October 12, 2009
TNS sees Palm pre-launch better than iPhone
The launch of the Palm Pre on O2 could generate more attention than the iPhone did just two years earlier, a TNS study finds today. About 26 percent of 1,000 UK residents polled say they will or probably will buy a Palm Pre for its October 16th British launch; by comparison, only 17 percent planned to get an iPhone when it debuted in fall 2007. Switching is considered just as probable, as 32 percent of those on other UK carriers said they would be willing to switch to O2 to get the Pre.
The difference is attributed partly to the cost of the Pre on its first appearance in the country. O2 is willing to give the Pre for free to those who sign up for a two-year contract where Apple had charged £269 ($426) for the original iPhone when new. Many of the earliest iPhone owners are now either off contract or about to finish and have the option of leaving Apple's platform for another.
No mention has been made of the impact of iPhone 3G or 3GS pricing, both of which launched as potentially free for certain customers depending on the cost of the attached monthly plan. However, the study if reflective of the wider UK market would be a rare positive sign for Palm, which has struggled to maintain attention for the Pre in the US and has only exported the Pre to Canadians until the pan-European launches this week.