Palm To Release GSM Pre… In Europe… Way To Go Palm… NOT!

If you’ve read my blog over the last few months, I’ve been kind of critical of the Palm Pre. One of the reasons that I haven’t shown it any love is the fact that it wasn’t a GSM phone:

The Pre uses EVDO and not HSDPA. Palm must have missed the memo that HSDPA is what most of the planet uses for wireless data and they would have been better served to use that standard on the Pre. But I suspect Palm’s desire to get a carrier that would bend over and take it like a prison bitch play ball with them supersedes the need to make a smartphone that not only could be used outside North America, but would be available to a wide variety of carriers world wide. At least it has WiFi so Pre users who buy it from Sprint can go to Europe and still get their e-mail.

Is that harsh? Yes. But it’s true. That changed slightly today. Palm has announced a GSM version of the Pre. The problem is, it’s been announced for Europe:

Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq:PALM) today announced that the Palm(R) Pre(TM) phone is scheduled to be available initially in the UK, Ireland and Germany exclusively on the O2 network, and in Spain exclusively on the Movistar network, in time for the holidays. Palm Pre, the first phone based on the new Palm webOS(TM) mobile platform, brings your information from the many places it resides – on your phone, at work or on the web – into one simple, integrated view.(1)

Well, that’s craptasitc. I guess as far as Palm is concerned, North Americans on GSM carriers like Rogers/Fido, AT&T Wireless, and T-Mobile don’t need a GSM version of this phone. They’d be wrong of course. Just look at their competitors who either put phones out on both GSM and non-GSM versions, or stick with GSM only. Sadly, I think that they’ll figure this out the hard way when their North American sales don’t meet with their expectations.

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