Palm Pre in Europe by Christmas
Now that sales of the Pre in the states have tapered off to a point where supply and demand are roughly in parity, Palm is gearing up to bring the handset to Europe. In a statement issued this morning, the company said Telefónica’s O2 subsidiary will carry the Pre in the U.K., Germany and Ireland, while its Movistar brand will offer it in Spain. The Pre will arrive at market in those countries in time for the winter holidays. That likely means October, which will give Telefonica enough time to maximize orders in the run-up to Christmas. Telefónica declined to give a price or to say how long its exclusive deal with Palm will last.
For Telefonica, which, through O2 and Movistar, is already the exclusive carrier of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone in the U.K. and Spain, the deal is another coup. As Mathew Key, chairman of Telefónica Europe, noted in a gloating press release, “Telefónica is fast becoming the home of the smartphone.”
And for Palm (PALM), well, it’s another big step on the road to recovery. As CEO Jon Rubinstein said earlier this year, “We’ve been fighting the battle with basically both hands tied behind our back for the past year and half. Now we’re getting on the playing field, and we’re going to be extremely competitive. But it’s the beginning.”