Palm Pre To U.K. In October

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The Palm Pre is taking another important step in its uphill battle against Apple's iPhone, with the smartphone making the hop across the pond.

O2 Network, a British telecom, on Thursday confirmed that the Palm Pre will be landing on its network exclusively on Oct. 16. The smartphone will be available to U.K. customers directly from O2 as well as from Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U. British Palm Pre users will have a few different options for payment, including getting the smartphone for free with a two-year agreement at specific monthly payments.

"There's a lot of excitement about Palm Pre in Europe as we continue to expand Palm webOS products across new carriers and countries," Jon Rubinstein, Palm's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "We look forward to launching Palm Pre with O2 so people in the U.K. can see firsthand how Palm webOS offers a new and better smartphone experience."

Palm's move to bring the Pre overseas shows that the company is serious about expanding its market share. Palm has already seen sales of the Pre beat expectations in its Q1 of fiscal year 2010. Analysts predicted 500,000 to 540,000 Palm Pre sales in the quarter. But the Pre beat those expectations, selling 823,000 units of the smartphone.

Moving the Pre overseas opens up an entirely fresh market that, until October, will be untapped for the smartphone maker. While Apple's iPhone already has a long head start over the Pre, the move into a fresh market will help the smartphone compete for worldwide market share.

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