In a recent information, sent to its dealers, O2 Germany confirmed that the recently released Palm Pre webOS 1.3.1 ROM has a major bug which can affects SMS text messages. WebOS 1.3.1 interprets some special characters wrong which results in a change of the SMS-type where the Palm Pre switches to Unicode. However, Unicode SMS can be 70 characters only while a standard SMS is 160 characters. This means, that a text message with typed 160 characters might be send as several text messages (so called concatenated SMS) and therefore might be charged multiple times.
However, the Palm Pre indicates in the text editor how many SMS text messages are send and therefore users should keep an eye on this information.
In our tests we hardly forced the Palm Pre to switch to Unicode by entering random special characters. Though being a major bug, it shouldn't be too dramatic by not affecting too many Palm Pre users at all.
Nevertheless, in its dealer information O2 Germany continues that the bug will be/is fixed with the next firmware update. However, O2 neither commented the expected release date nor which version the next firmware will be.
It's yet completely unknown if this bug also affects Sprint's CDMA Palm Pre and Palm Pixi which virtually run the same firmware now, after Palm upgraded the GSM Pre to webOS 1.3.1.
Cheers ~ Arne