O2 is set to capture yet another high profile smartphone, the Pre, when it launches next week exclusively on the Telefonica owned mobile network and UK's largest mobile operator.
Richard Wray from The Guardian has confirmed that O2 won the deal, beating the other serious contender, Orange. The newspaper is also reporting that the Pre will be available at the Carphone Warehouse which is also selling the iPhone 3GS.
News that O2 was going to be the chosen one emerged back in March when Spanish news outlet, Expansion, wrote that the deal was already signed.
Already Pocket-lint says that Apple could possibly object to the Palm Pre being sold in O2's high street stores. Despite the fact that O2 sells Nokia's flagship smartphone the N97 online, it doesn't offer it instore.
It also paves the way for a potential rift between O2 and Apple based on the fact that O2 probably already knows that it will be losing the iPhone exclusivity fairly soon.
Since Guardian has reported that more than one mobile networks were battling to get the Pre exclusivity, one can safely assume that O2 is going to do something extra to get the Pre out there (possibly more marketing coverage, better tariffs), with or without Apple's consent.
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The Palm Pre though is no iPhone substitute and O2 (and the rest of the world) knows that. Whoever decided to divorce the other party though probably has good reasons to do so.
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