The Palm Pre smartphone is set to be officially unveiled in the UK on Tuesday. The touchscreen smartphone, dubbed this year's iPhone killer, will make its UK debut at a press event on 15 September.

Journalists invited to next week's PlayBite event are being tantalised by the prospect of getting a proper look at the WebOS-based handset. The event is being billed as the UK launch of the handset, though Palm's PR company is at pains to state that the event will be more of a chance for the UK press to have an up-close look at the handset, rather than being the official launch event for the phone.

Nonetheless, the invitation to the PlayBite event lists brands such as Sony, Netgear and SanDisk showing off their Christmas wares alongside "Palm - UK launch of the 'iPhone killer' Palm Pre".

The Pre has been onsale in the US since June - it launched a day before the Apple iPhone 3GS
- and rumours of its likely UK debut have most recently focused on late October.

Palm comtinues to adhere to the statement that the Pre will go onsale in the UK in time for Christmas. In July, rumours that 02 and its parent company Telefonica had sewn up an exclusive distribution deal for much of Europe were confirmed

The Palm Pre was the star attraction at this year's Consumer Electronics Show and has been hotly anticipated by technology fans ever since. Aside from its US launch, the Pre has made the occasional, heavily guarded appearance at industry events.

Earlier this week, Palm unveiled a second smartphone to take advantage of its WebOS, the Palm Pixi.

Palm Pre review