The smartphone world received a shock today when news broke that Verizon Wireless might not be adopting the Palm Pre after all. TheStreet.com states that "people close to the discussions" told them that Verizon has decided not to support the Pre. This is great news for Sprint, the Pre's current U.S. carrier, but very bad news for Palm, who desperately needs a larger market if they want any hope of crossing the million sold mark.
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Up until now, Verizon seemed quite eager to get at the Palm Pre. Back in May, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam even stated that his company intended to roll out the Pre within six months. What's caused this rapid change of mood? If TheStreet is correct, the Pre's less-than-impressive sales weren't the only reason.
Verizon wants VCast, along with all of its applications and its mobile media download service, to feature on every phone they sell. The Pre, however, has an app store that VCast would conflict with. It's also possible that VZW has switched its focus over the last few months. While the Pre once seemed a good investment, the carrier is now looking into RIM's BlackBerry line and Motorola's new Android line as smartphones to focus on in the future.
This news should be taken with a big grain of salt, however. All Things Digital states that analysts don't agree with TheStreet.com's report. Deutsche Bank even called the rumors of Verizon denying the Pre "off base", and stated that demand for the Pre was still quite healthy. I suppose we won't know the truth until the Pre launches, or doesn't, on Verizon in 2010.