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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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.