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Telefonica in Palm Pre Talks - Looks to Rebrand

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Spain's Telefonica has decided to consolidate its consumer brands around Movistar and O2 retaining the Telefonica name purely for the corporate operations, reports the El Pais newspaper. The company already runs most of its mobile networks under the Movistar brands, but still has a few under the Telefonica name.

The company's Brazilian joint-venture, Vivo will also retain its current brandname, while O2 will be retained in the existing markets of UK, Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

In other news, the firm is also reported to be close to securing the exclusive rights to the Palm Pre smartphone when it is launched in Spain, UK and Latin America. The Spanish newspaper, Expansion reports that the operator is expecting to have the handset "before summer". The news could be a blow for Vodafone which was recently rumoured to be seeking the exclusive rights for itself.

However, since the news report, Palm has tried to distance itself from the rumours, blaming a "misunderstanding". A spokesman for the company told Vnunet that he could not confirm when the Pre might be launched in the UK or which network carriers it would be available from.

On the web: El Pais - Expansion - Vnunet

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Tags: smartphone  vodafone  o2  telefonica  palm pre  palm  movistar  vivo  Spain  UK