Palm Europe says it has "no announcements to make" with regards talk of a UK mobile operator to market the Palm Pre smartphone. According to Palm's UK press team, discussions are still ongoing as to which mobile operator will be first to offer the multi-touch smartphone to UK consumers.

This contrasts with web reports that surfaced earlier today claiming the Spanish operator Telefonica had secured a distribution deal that extended to its O2 subsidiary in the UK.

Gadget blog Electric Pig cannily picked up a report on the Spanish press today claiming that O2 will be the launch partner for the Palm Pre smartphone in the UK and that its parent company, Telefonica, has inked a similar deal in Spain.

The original news report, on Spanish business site, states that "according to sources familiar with the agreements, the British subsidiary of Telefonica, O2, will market the new terminal exclusively in the UK".

The Palm Pre handset was the star attraction at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and at last month's Barcelona-based Mobile World Congress.

Sprint earned bragging rights as the US launch partner for the handset, even getting to share a stage with Palm at the CES keynote where the device was first unveiled.

Vodafone is seen is 02's big rival to grab the Palm Pre deal in the UK having lost out to the operator to market the Apple iPhone.

When we asked Palm to confirm the reports of a mobile operator deal and possible launch date, we were told that as far as the smartphone company is concerned, it's still not certain when EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) will even get the Palm Pre.

This contrasts with Palm's January keynote unveiling at which the Pre was described as a worldwide launch.

Palm has previously said it will launch the Pre in the US "by the summer".

Palm Pre smartphone