The Palm Pre has been launched in Germany through mobile phone network O2, a few days before it is officially launched here in the UK, on Friday for a mere 28.50 Euros per month over a period of 24 months.
The Germans apparently have the ability to literally lease their phones and pay for their monthly contract separately thanks to O2's My Handy Option.
It turns out therefore that the Pre will cost 20 Euros over 24 months (that's £447) with the Handy-Surf-Flatrate costing another 8.50 Euros (£8) per month for the first three months..
This particular package though appears to include only web access and no inclusive minutes or text. The Pre will go on sale for as little as £34.26 (or 36.77 Euros) in the UK over a period of two years with 600 minutes, 500 texts and unlimited data and WiFI.
The GSM version of the phone will also be offered unlocked for 480 Euros which is roughly similar to what you will pay over here but significantly more than a PAYG iPhone 3G which currently retails for £342.54.
Some have also noted that it is not possible to configure the APNs, MMS and SMS settings which means that the phone should be compatible with any other third party SIM cards, which is logical as buyers would be locked in a two year contract anyway.
The CEO of Telefónica O2 Germany, René Schuster, said in a statement that "We operate one of the most modern mobile telecommunications networks in Europe and offer our customers a simple and transparent tariff structure. In combination with Palm Pre our customers experience top-class mobile communications. With Palm Pre the mobile internet becomes the easiest thing in the world."
The buzz surrounding the Pre is already sky high and there are even hints that the demand for the Palm Pre in the UK at least, has surpassed that of the iPhone 2G. This is almost certainly Palm's last chance. Strangely enough though, there seems to be a distinct lack of marketing campaign surround the launch of the mobile phone.