Palm Pixi and Pre UK Launch : Too Little, Too Late

The announcement yesterday by O2 that it will be launching the Palm Pre Plus and its sidekick the Pixi Plus on the 28th of May, the day the iPad goes on sale, comes too late to make any significant impact on the smartphone market in the UK.

Both phones might spot the excellent WebOS mobile platform and have some unrivalled features - like the inductive charger that comes with the Pre - but it is too little to mount a credible challenge against the likes of the HTC Desire or the Apple iPhone.

We pondered on a probable Palm Pre 2 smartphone last July but haven't heard anything from Palm ever since and to make things worse, the company has not been promoting its own App Catalog enough.

Yes there are legacy Palm applications out there - around 50,000 - but they can't fully use the Palm's capabilities.

If that wasn't enough, the network provider, which still has the exclusivity for the deal, has priced the Palm Pre Plus at the same level as the iPhone 3GS, the Xperia X10 and the HTC Desire and HD Mini, all of which are arguably superior to the Pre.

In addition, since the beginning of March 2010, O2 had reduced the price of the original Palm Pre to £25 per month albeit on a package that includes only 100 minutes, unlimited data and texts and comes free. The Pre Plus will cost a one-off fee of £99 while the Pixi Plus comes in at £49.