Pre launching for free in Germany on October 13, UK and Ireland on October 16 38
O2 announced today that the GSM Palm Pre will be launching in Europe in the middle of next month. The staggered release will see Germany getting their hands on the hot little smartphone on October 13th, with the United Kingdom and Ireland getting it on October 16th. Yup, that announcement really did come quickly.
Plans will vary by country. United Kingdom O2 customers will have several plan options for the Pre. On an 18-month contract you can sign up for a minimal contract of £29.38 a month (75 minutes, 125 texts, unlimited data) and get the Pre for £96.89. Alternatively, they can pay as little as £44.05 a month (1200 minutes, 500 texts, unlimited data) and get a Pre for free. Customers signing a 24-month contract for a minimum of £34.26 (600 minutes, 500 texts, unlimited data) will also get a Pre for free. All available plans for the Pre come with unlimited data on O2’s HDSPA network and access to 7500 affiliated WiFi hotspots.
German shoppers can pay €1 upfront for the Pre on a 24-month contract, with the rest of the phone subsidized at €20 a month over the contract. In total, you can expect to pay €481 for the phone, or an extra €2 to get the Pre contract-free (no word if that also means its SIM-lock free). The Pre will be available on any contract with O2 Germany, though they recommend you sign up for at least the €10/month data plan (otherwise you'll be loaded down with by-the-kb data charges). O2 Germany is also giving away 10 Palm Pre phones.
In Ireland, you can sign up for plans ranging from €40 (175 minutes, 100 texts, 10 MMS, 1 GB data) to €65 a month (450 minutes, 150 texts, 15 MMS, 1 GB data) for 18 months and get a Pre for just €99, while forking over €100 a month (700 minutes, 250 texts, 25 MMS, 1 GB data) for a year and a half will get you a Pre for free. All plans are limited to 1 GB of data month, though they do also all come with unlimited access to O2’s WiFi hotspot network.
The German O2 website has also confirmed that the GSM Pre is indeed a Quad-band phone, with dual-band UMTS support (all told, we’re talking EDGE, UMTS, and HSDPA). Apart from that, the phone is practically the same as the CDMA Pre seen on Sprint and Bell Mobility.
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