updated 06:25 pm EDT, Thu September 24, 2009
Verizon may not carry Palm Pre
Although claiming to be on the rise, Palm may have been dealt a serious blow through a rejection by Verizon, a rumor hinted this afternoon. Supposedly in touch with those near discussions, TheStreet claims Verizon has dropped the Pre from its future plans. Why this would be hasn't been explained.
Such a reversal would be unexpected for Verizon. It has repeatedly telegraphed signals that it has wanted to carry the device and as late as last month had database entries for the smartphone that usually precede an actual launch.
If accurate, the change of heart would imply either that Verizon may have reconsidered the option following cooling Pre sales, giving it little incentive to add the device, or else that it may still be committed to Palm but only to a newer smartphone model. The most likely candidate is the Pixi, a direct replacement for the Centro that will likely cost $99 or less on contract.
Regardless, a pullback from Verizon could be dangerous for Palm. In North America, it has been limited to selling the Pre through Bell and Sprint, both carriers seen as on a decline and sometimes as a disincentive by themselves. Smartphone sales are recovering thanks to the would-be iPhone rival but have still resulted in wider losses than predicted.
By contrast, much pressure has been placed on carriers besides AT&T to pick up the iPhone. Publicly, Verizon has said its own stance is a non-issue and that it's up to Apple to decide whether or not it wants to offer a Verizon-capable iPhone.
Neither Palm nor Verizon has confirmed or denied the rumor, although Palm said it has never referred to Verizon as a carrier partner.