O2 to launch Palm Pre before Christmas?

New rumours circulate over the new iThrone dweller

O2 nabbed the Palm Pre

Following a newspaper report claiming the Palm Pre was coming exclusively to O2 in the UK, it seems that the new phone will be coming 'before Christmas', according to some sources.

However, it seems far more likely that should O2 announce the Palm Pre as an exclusive, the phone will be offered within the next two months, after it was confirmed the US would be able to get its hands on the phone from 6 June.

This means that O2 would have to position the Palm Pre next to the iPhone in shops, and given the animosity between Apple and Palm over the Pre, it's unlikely the fruity ones would be happy about this.

That has led some media outlets to state this is a clear signal the network is losing its exclusive, although O2 has re-iterated to TechRadar that it is still in its multi-year deal with Apple to be the only iPhone vendor in the UK.

We also spoke to O2 over whether it will be ranging the Palm Pre, and got an understandably bland response: "We don't comment on rumour and speculation and have made no announcement on this particular handset."

No means no

Which makes sense, given we all know the network has made no announcement on the subject. However, we've spoken to O2 on a number of occasions regarding the iPhone arrangement and the Pre, and this is what the network has said in the past:

"Our device strategy operates on the principle that the proposition has to be right and it has to add value for the customer. As part of that, we go for the best in class of any category of handset."

Which would be the Palm Pre, if the early glowing reports are to be believed, so it's easy to see that the network is at least in for the phone. And a source has confirmed to TechRadar that one of the others in the race for the Pre has also pulled out, so it's looking more likely O2 will be the winner.

And regarding the iPhone exclusivity? "We have a multi year arrangement with Apple to offer the iPhone on the O2 network exclusively in the UK.

"We cannot comment on the commercial details of our relationship with Apple but we absolutely expect to sell the iPhone for many years to come."

Via The Guardian