The life and times of the Palm Pre aged one month...

On this day last month the much-hyped Palm Pre went on sale on the O2 network in the UK. So how have things gone, how did it get there and what happens next?

Festive period pressure

Christmas will be particularly interesting, according to Carolina Milanesi, mobile devices research director at Gartner.

"So far the only thing we know as far as performance is that O2 sold more Pres on the launch day than any other device sold that day combined. Generally I would not say that the excitement was that great. Certainly not at the same level as in the US. There are still Palm fans in Europe, but the number is much lower than in the US," she said.

"Q4 is going to be one of the most competitive Xmas quarters of the past three years and I believe that Palm will struggle to maintain the momentum. Android-based products have a pretty good browsing experience and are offered by several carriers across Europe. As far as enterprise adoption, some businesses might find that the platform is still immature and might prefer more established alternatives."

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The app story

That said, Palm is well aware of how important applications are going to be to the future success of both the Pre and its sibling the Palm Pixi, which was only announced at the beginning of September. Again, US users will get the handset by the end of this year and UK users will just have to wait.

Prior to the Pre's UK launch, Palm seemed confident about how a solid apps proposition would help it. After all, many users view an apps portfolio as a deal breaker when choosing which handset to buy.

"We've got lots of people in the beta [SDK], and tens of thousands wanted to get in. Historically, we've been very enthusiastic [about apps]," said Dave Whalen, senior vice president for Palm's global sales, in an interview with IT PRO.

At the end of the day, perhaps the biggest barrier to the Pre, or any other device of that ilk for that matter, will be businesses themselves.

Research published in September claimed that security and management concerns were holding back corporate adoption of Android-based devices and the iPhone and Palm Pre.

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The Device Dilemma report by Good Technology found that more than a quarter (28 per cent) of businesses had already suffered a security breach due to unauthorised devices at work.

Interestingly, almost half of IT decision makers surveyed said they would let employees choose the devices to use in the office if they could remove configuration and security woes.

"Enterprises have been reluctant to embrace the newest mobile devices because of concerns about security, not to mention the increased management burdens that the new devices would place on already strapped IT departments," said Philippe Winthrop, research director of Strategy Analytics, in a statement.

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