Verizon Wireless and Palm have long been partners, with Verizon consistently offering a range of Palm devices. As early as May Verizon Wireless was indicating it planned to offer the Palm Pre to its customers as soon as Sprint’s window of exclusivity expired, and in July Verizon Wireless’s COO confirmed the carrier planned to offer the Palm Pre i early 2010.
Now, however, TheStreet.com reports that Verizon has decided to pass on the Palm Pre, citing concerns over the unit’s failure so far to move more than a million units through Sprint—according to the story, Verizon is only interested in investing effort into handsets that are likely to be blockbusters, and the Palm Pre requires new tools to showcase Verizon’s Vcast mobile media and service offerings. TheStreet.com has Verizon more interested in putting development efforts into upcoming handsets from Motorola and RIM.
Other industry watchers give little credence to the report, noting Verizon’s and Palm’s long history and Verizon’s obvious early commitment to landing the Palm Pre after Sprint’s window exclusivity. AllThingsD notes supply chain orders seem to indicate that Palm is indeed ramping up to launch the Pre on additional carriers in early 2010, according to Deutsche Bank’s Jonathan Goldberg and Morgan Keegan & Co’s Tavis McCourt. Palm’s recent financial guidance figures also seem to indicate the company is banking on a launch on Verizon.
Verizon Wireless has a much larger customer base than Sprint, and has carried almost every Palm mobile device.
Palm has recently announced new carrier partnerships with Canada’s Bell Mobility and O2 in Germany and the UK to carry the Palm Pre.