Palm Pre GSM to be Vodafone exclusive in UK?

Palm is in negotiations with Vodafone UK regarding sales of the GSM Palm Pre, according to the latest rumors coming out of the carrier.  While officially Vodafone UK will not comment on the possibility of them being Palm's UK launch partner, as Sprint is in the US, a member of the carrier's customer service team has confirmed that Vodafone is "in early negotiation with Palm" regarding the Pre, although "nothing is solid".  Also unclear is whether Palm is planning a single, exclusive launch carrier in the UK, or whether the smartphone will be generally available across multiple networks.

"With regrets, I can not currently share any information regarding the Palm Pre handset; we are still in early negotiation with Palm, but nothing is solid. I can double check next week but as of this point in time that is all I know" Vodafone customer services comment

Securing exclusivity on the Pre would be a coup for Vodafone, who have seen arch rival O2 enjoy great success as Apple's official iPhone 3G partner in the UK.  Palm has not been discussing the length of its exclusive deals with carriers, leading some to suggest that they are relatively short-term and the company plans to make the Pre more readily available once the launch furore dies down.

"That phone does look awesome, we were taking a look at this in the office the other day a few of us have our eye on it, I would keep your eyes peeled on the coming soon section here at our online shop.



eForum Team"

An administrator on the Vodafone UK forum has also added fuel to the rumor, with the suggestion that the Pre will soon make an appearance in the carrier's "coming soon" roster.  The device did not show up there at time of writing.  This could be the first time the GSM version of the Palm Pre will be available, switching Sprint's CDMA EV-DO Rev.A support for GSM 3G HSPA.

[via Pre Community]