Carphone Warehouse offers free flights for Palm Pre buyers, we shake our heads

Carphone offers free flights for Palm Pre buyersRumoured to be in response to poor sales, the Carphone Warehouse is giving away two free airline tickets to anyone who buys a Palm Pre before the end of January.

Although the Palm Pre won widespread rave reviews, with many declaring it to be a worthy challenger to the iPhone, sales have apparently failed to match up to expectations.

We can’t say we’re that surprised, to be honest.

Carphone offers free flights for Palm Pre buyersAs we reported back in October, there was barely any publicity leading up to the launch of the Palm Pre on O2’s website (“O2’s website: spot the Palm Pre!“) and things were almost comically bad on the eve of the handset’s launch with staff at one Carphone Warehouse claiming to have not even heard of the phone (“Carphone Warehouse and Palm Pre: “The Palm…what?””).

Why go with o2?

We always felt that it was a crazy decision for Palm to go exclusively with O2.

The network at the time was aggressively promoting its exclusive rights to the iPhone, and very little seemed to change after they acquired the Pre.

Go into one of their stores and you’ll still see acres of iPhone adverts and promotions, with very little promotion for the Pre, and talk to their staff and you’ll find most are far more interested in extolling the virtues of Apple’s product.

As the iPhone migrates to other networks – all of whom are equally keen to enthusiastically promote the iconic handset – the Palm continues to languish in semi-obscurity, which strikes us as a real shame because it is easily one of the best smartphones currently available.

Sort it out, Palm!

For it to gain any kind of traction in the UK, O2 have to reduce their current ridiculously overpriced tariff (it’s priced the same as the iPhone 3G which is plain daft), and Palm have to release unlocked versions and persuade other networks to offer the handset.

Moreover, they have to stop treating their European customers as being permanently second in line to US users, and get the app store out of beta and lets UK users start downloading the hundreds of apps they’re currently missing out on.

They need to get a ruddy move on too, as already many of the Pre’s technological innovations are being aped by competitors, and the piddling amount of free apps on offer in Palm’s UK store is unlikely to persuade any customers, free flights or not.

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