Reports in Spain are strongly suggesting that O2 has managed to steal the Palm Pre on an exclusive deal from under the nose of Vodafone.
While most expected the red operator to announce the Pre alongside exclusive deals for the HTC Magic and the BlackBerry Storm, apparently O2's parent company Telefonica has struck a deal to market it in Spain, the UK and Latin America.
Expansion in Spain is stating "[Telefonica] has closed an agreement with Palm, the company that popularized the PDA, to market its latest exclusive phone, the Palm Pre, which is its first muti-touch screen and advanced navigation functionality via the internet, which has been described as the 'anti-iPhone'."
TechRadar has spoken to Palm and O2 about the rumour, and while the manufacturer has issued a standard 'talks are ongoing' statement about bringing the device to Europe, O2 dropped a slight hint it would be receptive to the idea:
"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. We have made no announcement on this particular handset," a spokesperson told TechRadar.
The paper also states that customers will be offered a flat rate for data on the new device on a price plan that mirrors that offered for the iPhone.
After several photos of the devices emerged from Mobile World Congress showing it running on a GSM network with a Vodafone SIM on board, it was widely expected a deal would be imminent.
But the newspaper says that, despite a long battle between Vodafone and Telefonica, the Spanish company prevailed and O2 will now have another high-profile exclusive handset to show off next to the iPhone.
Though we're wondering if O2 stocks both the iPhone and the 'anti-iPhone', will it basically have nothing to show? Or even worse, will the universe begin to cave in from within every O2 store?
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Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.