THIS MORNING'S news in the British press that the GSM version of the Palm Pre is likely to be carried exclusively by O2 is unlikely to be received well in Cupertino. While the Pre has apparently not been the iPhone killer device is was stoked up to be (after all, the 3GS sold a million units in a few days), the Pre is perhaps Apple's most direct competitor. How, I wonder, are O2 retail staff going to tread the line between the iPhone and the Pre? This could be bad news for O2 if the decision rings the warning bells on the Apple campus.
I still do not understand (other than the remote possibility of pure avarice) why Apple had to choose different carriers in every country. They have relationships in Europe with O2, Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile, to name but four, and this cannot make for an easy life. Of course playing one off against another could bump up margins. I have a feeling that next time around, Apple will stick with one major player such as Vodafone, for all European sales.