So, the eagerly awaited Palm Pre handset is due to be released on O2’s network in just three days time.
A fair buzz seems to be building about the phone, the early reviews have been thoroughly positive, T3 Mag described it as the ‘Hottest Gadget of the Year‘ and with a recent survey claiming the launch could be bigger than the iPhone’s, you should expect the Pre to be plastered all over O2’s website.
After all, O2 are the sole suppliers of the Palm Pre in the UK, so they must be mustard keen to capitalise on that hard-won exclusivity and promote it to the max, yes?
Well, no. As far as the O2’s website is concerned, the Palm Pre barely seems to exist, yet alone be one of the hottest new handsets to hit the UK.
Where’s the Pre?
Despite the Pre only being a few days from release, there is not a single mention of the phone on the homepage – in fact, the only phone listed on the entire page is the Apple iPhone 3GS – a handset which will soon be available on several other networks.
Moving on to the ‘explore’ tab brings up another Palm Pre-free page, so we try searching for ‘Palm Pre’ in the search box but only get results for the comparatively ancient Windows Mobile Palm Treo 500 handset. Where is the Pre?
Finally, we click on the ‘shop’ tab.
Surely O2 will have loads of information ready to tempt users hyped up by all the positive press the Pre has received in the UK?
Nope. All we can see is a big advert for the Samsung Genio Touch, with smaller adverts underneath for the Sony Ericsson Naite (the what?) and the Samsung C3050 Pink, with a third row below letting users list phones by manufacturer.
You can probably guess whose name doesn’t appear on that list.
Yep, Palm. Users can search for Apple, BlackBerry, LG, Nokia, O2 , Samsung and Sony Ericsson but there’s still no sign of the phone which Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefonica O2 UK recently declared would, “reinforce O2’s position as the home of the smartphone.”
Oh hang on. What’s that we see way below the fold on the shop page? Why yes, sitting there near the bottom of the page we’ve finally spotted a small Palm Pre graphic linking to a product page.
Anyone remembering the tide of pre-launch publicity that accompanied the iPhone must be scratching their heads at O2’s lower then low-key approach to the impending launch. We can’t imagine Palm would be too delighted either.
Update (15th Oct): Carphone Warehouse and Palm Pre: “The Palm…what?”