The Palm Pre might not be coming to another carrier anytime soon, with a report from TheStreet.com claiming that Verizon Wireless, the largest carrier in the United States, will not be offering the touch screen phone in January of next year, when Palm’s current exclusivity contract with Sprint Nextel ends in 2009.
The news was able to shock investors, and was able to bring down Palm’s shares down to more than 5 percent during trade to $15.75, before stabilising to close at $16.15, down 4.78 percent from its opening price.
The report’s claims would contradict what its wireless chief Lowell McAdams said to investors, that the Pre will be coming to their network within “six months”.
Sources talking to TheStreet.com said that Verizon simply changed their minds after the phone wasn’t able to reach the crucial one million-sold mark, and that Verizon would not be able to put its VCast service, its applications and media download services to the phone – which it does for other phones on its network. That move would make it in direct conflict with the Pre’s app store.
This would be a major blow to Palm, as it needs to increase the sales of its much-hyped Pre, which was unveiled at CES this year in January. No word if it will hit Australia, but it already has sign deals with two other carriers in three countries internationally, Bell Mobility in Canada and O2, owned by Spanish carrier Telefonica, in Germany and the UK.
On the other hand, The Business Insider hints at an idea that another Palm phone would join Verizon’s line-up of phones, like its new Pixi smart phone, which will have the same operating system as the Pre, and will have a touch screen and keyboard.
One thing is for certain, no one knows what Palm is planning for the Pre after its contract ends with Sprint Nextel.