The wait will soon be over for those hoping to get their hands on Palm's smart new smartphone as the launch date for the new device has now officially been confirmed as 16 October.

The Pre will launch exclusively on the O2 network in the UK - the same operator that offers Apple's rival iPhone.

Consumers will be able to buy the new phone directly from O2, the Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U as well as online from the O2 shop at

"There’s a lot of excitement about Palm Pre in Europe as we continue to expand Palm webOS products across new carriers and countries", said Jon Rubinstein chairman and chief executive officer, Palm.

“We look forward to launching Palm Pre with O2 so people in the UK can see firsthand how Palm webOS offers a new and better smartphone experience".

The Palm Pre will be free to O2 customers taking out a £34.26 a month, 24-month contract and to customers taking an 18-month contract at £44.05 or £73.41 per month.

Those opting for £29.38 or £34.26, 18-month contracts will have to stump up £96.89 for the handset.

Following the iPhone's lead, all customers will get "unlimited" UK data browsing and unlimited access to 7,500 Wi-Fi hotspots through both The Cloud and now BT Openzone.

The price for the Palm Touchstone wire-free charger has also been confirmed. The Touchstone plus the required replacement back cover will cost £44.11.