'Unlocked' German Palm Pre Still A Bit Locked

locked If you're like me and trapped in a country where Palm has yet to offer the Pre, then you're no doubt thinking quite intently about purchasing a German GSM unit, which is not SIM-locked as the UK and Irish Pres are. However, there are different kinds of restrictions on the device: first, the network settings are apparently only pre-configured for a smattering of German mobile providers. So while you'll be able to drop in any old SIM card and make voice calls internationally out-of-the-box, you won't be able to use carrier network services like mobile Internet or MMS until Palm or O2 provides an update which allows you to enter such details manually. In the meantime, it looks like we'll be resorting to some light hacking.

Second, and a little more annoyingly, the device apparently needs to be activated via the O2 network before you can use it. While tools exist that allow you to bypass activation - such as the WebOS Internals Meta-Doctor - savvy buyers may want to ask their importers to activate the device at the O2 store before sending them on.

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It's not too early...

hkklife @ 10/15/2009 7:11:01 PM # Q
...to nominate Palm for the most customer-unfriendly company of the year. They keep this up, they may even start gunning for the all-time award!

Oh, silly me! Why I am being so foolish and mixing up "customers"? It's the CARRIERS that are Palm's real customers. And they LOVE this kind of crap! Us little guys only account for an incremental amount of revenue buying Palm-branded accessories.

I'd personally like to see the EU put the smack down HARD on Palm, O2 and anyone else participating in all of this foolishness.

IMO, the likelihood of Palm or O2 providing an update to manually enter network configuration data or bypass the O2 network are NIL. My enthusiasm for Palm or their products has never been lower than it is at this point in time.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: It's not too early...
Tim Carroll @ 10/15/2009 7:28:44 PM # Q
IMO, the likelihood of Palm or O2 providing an update to manually enter network configuration data or bypass the O2 network are NIL.

A German poster at Precentral says they spoke with O2, who said such an update was in fact already in the works. But even if it doesn't come, all the carrier settings are in an easily-editable XML file in the webOS Doctor (apparently, I'm gonna confirm that when i get home tonight.) Also, Australian network settings have been in the firmware since day one (even in the CDMA Pre, amusingly) so hopefully that won't even have to be resorted to.

The activation thing is much more annoying, IMO. But that's an O2 thing, i guess...

RE: It's not too early...
Scotland @ 10/15/2009 11:04:28 PM # Q
Tim, any news on the Pre going to Australia? Several months back, it seemed like a done deal but not much heard since...

Today, I spotted at the bottom of this article something about Palm abandoning the "local market".

Anyway, that would be a surprise - Palm and Telstra have been solid partners in the past and Palm now has their strongest lineup in years (with Pre out now and Pixi coming soon). I can only wonder if maybe Palm is resource constrained and doesn't want to launch everywhere simultaneously or whether they are playing the Aussie carriers off each other and still looking for a better deal...

Any news/theories...?

P.S. Agree that locked phones are a PITA.

RE: It's not too early...
Tim Carroll @ 10/16/2009 5:00:58 AM # Q
^^ No news. Not a peep. Believe me, I've been looking. :) I asked a Telstra store manager the other week, who said he'd heard nothing and had in fact just gotten back from a telco retail conference - from which Palm was suspiciously absent. Guy used a Treo Pro himself, loved it. Said Telstra and Palm had a great relationship because Palm actually replaced defective hardware without complaint, unlike some others.

There was one rumour that Vodafone would be launching the Pre in late November. I emailed their PR people but received no response. Might give 'em a phone call next week and see...

In the meantime, I'll have a German Pre to play with soon. Locks be damned...

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Maybe it's good the Pre is NOT available yet Down Under

SeldomVisitor @ 10/16/2009 2:53:38 AM # Q
Did ya read about the Pre South-of-the-Equator GPS fiasco?

RE: Maybe it's good the Pre is NOT available yet Down Under
Tim Carroll @ 10/16/2009 5:03:59 AM # Q
I did. Apparently there's a hack available that disables carrier assistance, which I suspect might be the problem - if Sprint Pres are trying to phone home to get cartesian data it might explain why latitude returned by the GPS is so far off.

Even if there isn't, SV, by this point I'd take a Pre even if it had an Apple logo on it. I'm getting that impatient...

RE: Maybe it's good the Pre is NOT available yet Down Under
SeldomVisitor @ 10/16/2009 5:18:48 AM # Q
You might want to look at an Android device - they haven't been standing still.

RE: Maybe it's good the Pre is NOT available yet Down Under
Tim Carroll @ 10/16/2009 9:26:59 PM # Q
^^ Neither has Palm. :P

Android simply doesn't excite me. I don't really like the look 'n feel of the software (as played with in the emulator), and none of the hardware form factors do it for me (I like portrait keyboards).

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HK Expansys Factory Unlocked

palmdoc88 @ 10/19/2009 3:07:01 PM # Q
Tim - Expansys HK is now selling the German kb GSM Palm Pre

They claim it is "factory unlocked".
So I wonder if it should be able to run on any GSM network?


RE: HK Expansys Factory Unlocked
Tim Carroll @ 10/19/2009 3:43:53 PM # M Q
It's running the same webOS version, Palmdoc - so YMMV. The handsets are definitely unlocked, but it seems pretty certain by now that there's a software bug that's stopping webOS recognizing certain brands of SIM. It'll be fixed in an update to be sure, but the question is "when"?
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unlocked German Pre really unlocked

psycho2die4 @ 10/22/2009 6:08:21 AM # Q
I bought my Pre from O2 Germany without a SIM, put in my T-Mobile SIM and had no problem activating it. I can do calls and use mobile internet without any need of hacking...
RE: unlocked German Pre really unlocked
freakout @ 10/22/2009 6:27:38 AM # Q
Sweet. According to package tracking my own Pre is already in Australia so should be delivered in a day or two. Hopefully we can add the Australian carriers to the list of confirmed working ones...
RE: unlocked German Pre really unlocked
SeldomVisitor @ 10/22/2009 1:20:05 PM # Q
> ...According to package tracking my own Pre is already in Australia so
> should be delivered in a day or two....

So...no GPS and Palm isn't at ALL interested in you:

== "...At this moment in time, we do not yet have any plans to
== launch the Palm Pre or any of our new WebOS products in Asia
== Pacific. Our focus right now is to establish a strong presence
== in North America and Europe. However, we do not discount the
== possibility of offering this new range of products at a later
== date.
== It is therefore not a rumor that Palm has significantly reduced
== its presence in the region to one of operational support to our
== existing customers requiring our in-warranty services and
== technical support for our sold products..."


RE: unlocked German Pre really unlocked
PTK @ 10/30/2009 12:13:18 AM # Q
It is not. Ordered PalmPre from Germany to Lithuania. Arrived per one day (very fast!!). Local network sim card was accepted and registered to network. But then we need to create profile and that doesn't work saying you need to connect to network. Only emergency call is available and from that I can call to any number and I can talk. No one can call to me. Any ideas what to do?
RE: unlocked German Pre really unlocked
mattwa78 @ 11/13/2009 5:11:48 AM # Q
I am having the same problem did you ever get a solution?
RE: unlocked German Pre really unlocked
mattwa78 @ 11/13/2009 5:13:41 AM # Q
To be more specific PTK did you find a solution to your problem because I am experiencing the same exact problem but I am in Kenya.
RE: unlocked German Pre really unlocked
PTK @ 12/8/2009 9:17:52 AM # Q
Travelling to Germany I bought prepaid O2 sim and activated the phone. Then it works with my home operator's sim. But mobile internet doesn't work.
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