Verizon To Stock Palm Pre As From 2010?

Two separate sources have confirmed that US mobile phone operator Verizon will indeed sell the Palm Pre smartphone as early as as January 2010 as initially planned.

Ecommerce Times and BGR have both had access to different sources within Verizon who disputed rumours and claims by independent analysts that Verizon would bypass Palm's flagship smartphone.

More specifically, Jim Gerace, Verizon's executive director of media relations , told the E-Commerce Times that the wireless provider will indeed sell the Pre according to plans.

On Thursday, investor blog, Thestreet, reported that "people close to the discussions" between the US carrier and Palm said that Verizon had already decided not to support the Pre even of back in May, it said that the phone would come within eight months (i.e. by end of January).

Palm has already signed exclusive partnerships with Bell Mobility in Canada and Telefonica in UK and Germany (but intriguingly not Spain). It will need to get a number of other mobile phone networks in order to achieve the targets which it set itself earlier this year.

Sprint's exclusivity on the Pre is ending soon and it is expected that Verizon - the largest phone network in the US - will do a much, much better job at selling the Pre than its smaller competitor.

By Friday afternoon, Palm shares had managed to recover some lost ground and were up by 1.36 percent to $16.38. In comparison, shares all of its competitors (Apple, RIMM, Motorola and Nokia), have been down over the last week.

The Pre still remains one of the iPhone's main competitors and even managed to outweigh Apple's candidate on a few occasions. Since Verizon doesn't yet have a similar player in this particular segment, it would make sense for it to bag the Pre.

Our Comments

Backdoor discussions are always quite sensible and it could have been that Verizon deliberately "leaked" some info to see how Palm reacts. The two main contention points it seems are the Vcast App marketplace that Verizon wants to roll out on all its phones and the amount of subsidy required.

Related Links

Confirmed: Verizon Wireless will sell the Palm Pre

(Eweek)

Verizon Denies Palm Snub, Will Add Pre in January

(The Register)

New study says Palm Pre second only to iPhone 3GS in mindshare

(Cnet)

Exclusive: Verizon Snubs Palm Pre

(ITBusinessEdge)

Palm, Inc. (Public, NASDAQ:PALM)

(Palm on Google)

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