Rumoured 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.
As 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.
7 Comments on “Carphone Warehouse offers free flights for Palm Pre buyers, we shake our heads”
If I could get one of these unlocked or on PAYG, I’d consider it.
As it stands on O2-no thanks.
I’ve always been much more interested in the device and its capabilities rather than the tariff/monkey/free minutes/flights nonsense.
Sadly I’ve had experience of being treated as a 2nd class customer by Palm in the past – five times as it happens. the money I spent on phone calls and (what I consider to be) unnecessary postage fees I could (should?) have bought a much better PDA from another manufacturer.
Palm make good stuff, I heard, but it took six attempts to get me a fully working PDA and then I gave up when this one failed and decided to say bye bye to £200.
I really wanted PDA functionality in a phone and the Pre does this excellently from the reviews I read, but the O2 nonsense and the lack of an app store makes it a poor choice in light of the competition.
I have to say that while I’m really enjoying the functionality of the Palm Pre – I erally think the webOS is a huge leap over the iPhone’s OS – I’m having real problems with staying connected.
I’m assuming that it’s o2’s well-known dodgy connectivity to blame, but if it is the phone then I’m going to have to reconsider my options. You can’t edit a tech site if you can’t stay connected!
Are they throwing in a free Hoover as well? 😉
To make the O2 side of things more palatable, you can get £70 cash back on a Palm Pre if you buy through Quidco. I am assuming that you cannot double up and get the flights as well, but you may be able to haggle in store I suppose.
O2’s touted backing of the Pre seems strangely lacking too.
Every weekday for several weeks before Xmas, there were full-page adverts for the Pre in the Metro freesheet. Not a single one mentioned O2, let alone that it was only available on O2.
That would indicate that the adverts were paid for entirely by Palm, unlike the co-branded O2/iPhone adverts that are still running even though the iPhone is now available with other carriers.
I wonder how long the O2 exclusive deal is for the Pre.
@lazy llama I think it’s been a total disaster for Palm. If they’d gone with another, hungrier network who were desperate to hit back at the iPhone, they might have stood a chance.
The Pre was always going to play second fiddle on o2 and I’d say the relationship has seriously reduced Palm’s chances of making a splash in the UK – despite Palm having an excellent handset on offer.
I had a play with the Pre in an 02 store yesterday. Except it was only a plastic replica so you couldn’t actually appreciate its USP (woman next to me just said – yuk, ugly and went and upgraded her iphone).
Palm seem to be in the process of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. It makes me sad as the iPhone needs some competition. I have to say though that the management of Palm does not seem to have improved much from when I had (the excellent) Treo and had to wait months after the USA to get the OS upgrade for those of us who use the Mac. I rang their UK HQ and ranted and raved and frothed and screamed..and they put it up a week later. And here we are again, no one seems to OWN the Pre project at Palm UK. Very very sad.