US manufacturer Palm has defended its ‘one network’ strategy in the UK despite admitting it will take longer to establish the company’s brand here than in any other European country.
Palm will launch its Pre Plus and Pixie Plus handsets in the UK in the next few days exclusively with O2.
Palm has been dogged by criticism since the release of the Pre last year that launching it through one network has been an error as sales have struggled.
Palm vice president for sales in EMEA Paul Ghent said: “The Palm brand in the UK is still limited and it’s an incredibly crowded market place here. You just have to look at the plethora of devices out there and the number of Android devices around so for the end user it’s pretty confusing.
“The UK is probably the toughest and most competitive market in Europe because it’s a level playing field as most devices are free and there are so many different phones on different platforms coming into the market.
“It isn’t necessarily the case that we’ll stick with one network for too long. We are still intent on going deeper into the market and we’re looking at opportunities. We have already gone down that road in Germany so logic would dictate that we’ll end up in a similar situation in the UK.”
Ghent added: “We had to ensure the networks we worked with would also invest in ensuring that the in-store execution is right. O2 initially set the bar with the iPhone and changed the game in regards to how it was sold. A lot of our focus is on sales training, live demos and in-store displays. When the person is in-store it’s important they’re getting a proper view of what webOS can do for them. As people begin to use our devices and the platform, they become advocates and that starts to build our brand awareness.”