Palm Pre exclusive likely for O2 with the iPhone going cross network

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palm-pre-mini.jpgWord broke over the weekend that O2 has pulled off coup number two in the handset wars by scoring an exclusive deal on the hotly anticipated Palm Pre. It was known that the UK network had a similar deal for the iPhone to last until 2011 but the news has sparked rumour that this is all to change come the launch of the third version of Apple’s touchscreen darling.

O2 has commented with their fascinating version of a no comment, that I won’t waste your eyeballs with, but this looks like a genuine piece of word on the street as far as I’m concerned. You can tell because I haven’t stuck the word RUMOUR in big letters at the beginning of the header which means I’m pretty happy to stake my reputation on it.

Personally, though, I don’t see that it necessarily spells the end for O2’s special relationship with Apple. I appreciate that having both the Pre and the iPhone exclusive to the same network could cause a conflict of interest and could even bury the Pre as far as the UK goes. I can also see that it might be in everyone’s interest to break the agreement and let the iPhone go to another network, but at the same time, I don’t see a lot of evidence for all this.

What do you reckon? Could the iPhone and the Pre co-exist or is it out with the old for O2 and in with the new? Hard evidence would be most welcome, and treated with the utmost anonymity, of course.

(via Guardian & Vnunet)

Daniel Sung