Should the iPhone be worried by Palm Pre demand?

Palm Pre

Palm's imminent arrival, the Palm Pre, is already being touted as the handset to shake up the market and potentially topple the iPhone from its throne and the latest research has confirmed this may prove true.

More than a quarter (26 per cent) of mobile users are interested in buying the new device when it goes on sale on the O2 network on Friday this week, according to research by TNS Technology.

The Palm Pre advocate figures outshine the 16 per cent of research respondents who said they were going to buy an iPhone when TNS conducted a similar poll prior to its launch back in 2007.

Those already with O2, which has nabbed the Pre in an exclusive deal, seem even more keen for this handset than they did with the iPhone. Some 27 per cent of existing customers expressed their interest in owning a Pre compared to just 17 per cent of O2 customers who wanted an iPhone when it first launched.

Both Orange and Vodafone will be supporting the iPhone on their networks soon, meaning the Pre exclusivity could see O2 gaining more customers, according to the research. Indeed, the figures suggest that just under a third (32 per cent) of people would switch networks to nab a Pre.

"The Palm Pre is already being touted as the iPhone killer' and our research certainly suggests it's going to shake up the market. The decision to offer the Pre free to those on a 24-month contract is in sharp contrast to the 269 price of the iPhone at its launch, while the launch timing capitalises on the fact that thousands of UK iPhone early-adopters are approaching the end of their 18-month contract period, while the next-generation iPhone is not expected until next June," said Kevin Evans, associate director at TNS Technology, in a statement.

He added: "With other promising new launches including Vodafone 360, MOTOBLURand next-generation versions of Windows Mobile also challenging the iPhone's position as the dominant mobile multimedia platform, this is an exciting time for the industry and a great time to be a consumer."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.