On Thursday, buoyed by a report from The Street that quoted "people close to the discussions," rumors started circulating that Palm's smartphone, the Pre, would not be coming to the Verizon Wireless Network. Currently an exclusive with Sprint, the phone was expected to come to VZW early next year. Those expectations were based on several statements from company insiders, specifically one made in May by Verizon Wireless President and CEO Lowell McAdam.
With the company taking a "no comment" approach to the reports, we are left to dissect the known information and speculate. Specifically, Verizon has been relying heavily on its BlackBerry offerings lately, with no other high-profile smartphone announcements in sight. Although it has had much success in the past with Palm's line of Treo phones, those models soon became outdated with nothing new to take their place.
Likewise, Palm cannot survive if it needs to rely solely on Sprint to supply it customers. Many of Palm's recent offerings have been Sprint exclusives and, while most of them have been successful, Verizon's huge customer base would bring a much needed lift to the manufacturer's sales figures.
It is hard to understand why a deal like this wouldn't go through. Both companies stand to gain from such an agreement, as would a countless number of Verizon's customers, who have been waiting patiently for the Pre to become available.
This whole debate is most likely the result of a misunderstanding, coupled with Verizon's choice to keep mum on the subject. As some have pointed out, the original quote from McAdam is that "devices like the Pre " will appear on the Verizon network. Everyone has just been assuming all along that it will be the Pre.
Our thought is that some form of a next-generation Pre is somewhere down the line for Verizon but, until an official announcement, it's anybody's guess.
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