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Verizon Scraps Palm Pre Plans, Report Says

Ian Paul

Sep 25, 2009 2:19 pm

Verizon has reportedly ditched plans to offer the Palm Pre early next year. Poor sales at Sprint -- the Pre's exclusive U.S. carrier -- as wellverizon palm pre as interest in handsets from Research in Motion and Motorola contributed to the decision, according to The Street, which cities "people close to the discussions."

Yes, it Will; No, it Won't

The Street's report refutes claims made earlier this year by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, who said the carrier would offer the Pre shortly after Palm's exclusivity arrangement with Sprint ended. A few weeks later, the Wall Street Journal reported the Pre would come to Verizon in January 2010.

Despite previous interest in the Pre, Verizon is reportedly concerned that Palm Pre sales have not exceeded one million handsets sold since the device's launch almost four months ago. With the Pre failing to deliver blockbuster sales numbers, Verizon is apparently hesitant to invest time and money into rolling out the Pre.

America's largest carrier is said to have greater interest in new offerings from BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, and Motorola's development of Android-based handsets. Verizon is also gearing up to launch HTC's Imagio, and may offer the HTC Predator -- another Android device -- this fall.

It's All about the Apps

Another stumbling block for the Pre is Verizon's interest in selling third-party smartphone applications through its VCast Store instead of through device-specific outlets like Palm's App Catalog.

In July, Verizon held its own application developer conference to woo third-party developers into its system, and is working with other carriers around the world to unify mobile applications into one standard that will work across multiple handsets.

Palm Answers, But Declines Response

Following The Street's report, a Palm spokesperson said the company is committed to working with more U.S. carriers in the second half of next year,

verizon palm pre

according to Bloomberg. Despite the timing of the announcement, Palmdeclined to comment on whether the announcement was in response to The Street's report.

On Thursday, Palm also announced it has partnered with international carrier O2 to bring the Palm Pre to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany in October. In addition to the three European Union countries, the Pre is available in the United States and Canada.

All is Not Lost

Despite the news that Verizon has reportedly scrapped plans to introduce the Pre, it's still an outside possibility that Verizon could introduce Palm's first WebOS-based phone. The Pre rollout, however, would be on a much smaller scale, with few handsets available across the country and a modest marketing campaign.

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"Verizon Scraps Palm Pre Plans, Report Says" Comments

No one is going to switch to Sprint just for the Pre, so of coarse the sales are not stellar. Don't they get that? Heck, I wouldn't even switch to AT&T for the iPhone. I'm happy with my Verizon service. If Verizon offered the Pre, I would seriously consider it. But, I'll also consider the upcoming Android phones too. The Nokia N900 on Verizon would rock too.

It's hard to capture a market for smart phones since most people are locked into contracts to use them. Yes, you can buy yourself out of the contract, but to do so can cost you up to 175 dollars, then pay for the smart phone (now we're talking about up to 375 dollars total), and potentially pay two month's worth of cell phone bills. That could be over 500 dollars in one month to just switch.

It's definitely a system where consumers lose and could be the reason why the Palm Pre didn't do too well. Though, personally, it wasn't too impressive of a phone anyway.

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