Are you looking forward to getting your hands on the Pre? Oh you haven’t heard of it? It’s the new phone that Palm are releasing that all your friends are talking about..oh they aren’t? Right then.

Market research firm TNS recently interviewed 1000 UK adults aged 16 to 64 and a massive 26% responded that they would definitely or probably buy the Palm Pre when it’s launched this Friday. An even bigger percentage (32%) said they would switch networks to O2, who have exclusivity, to get the Pre.

Ok first things first, following the news of Vodafone and Orange/T-Mobile selling the iPhone, do TNS believe that these customers are going to switch to O2 when they can finally get their hands on the iPhone? After 2 years of being sold crappy iPhone alternatives, I don’t customers are going to go through the hassle of changing.

I can’t tell you how many friends of mine that asked the sales rep for ‘the closest thing to a iPhone’ on their last upgrade only to be let down by some clunky HTC or Samsung device.

Secondly, if you are a happy iPhone customer and your contract ends this week you are either going to get a iPhone 3GS or wait it out to see what Apple has up its sleeve on the next release in summer 2010. Are you really going to take a gamble and get a Palm Pre for 18 months?

I think TNS has completely underestimated the kind of passionate following the iPhone has here in the UK.

The iPhone 3G S sold 1 million handsets on its first week in the UK. How can the Pre do the same without the same sort of marketing campaign? There has been little advertising for the Palm Pre considering it’s out on Friday, I haven’t even seen a banner ad let alone a TV one.

This survey seems like a PR stunt by TNS and yes I’ve taken the bate, however it also gives me an opportunity to call them out and see if they can put their money where their mouth is. I’m offering TNS a £400 wager that the Palm Pre won’t beat the iPhone 3GS in it’s first week (I’ve been playing far too much Texas Hold ‘Em lately).

So TNS if you’re reading this…