Wow -- Sprint cannot
be fond of this. Yesterday, Verizon Wireless' CEO proudly stated that his company would be carrying the Palm Pre...just a week before it launches "exclusively
" on Sprint. At CES, Palm announced that Sprint would be its one and only US launch partner for the Pre, and at the time, it seemed like a huge boon for Sprint. Apple has its iPhone, T-Mobile has its G1, Verizon has loads of options and Sprint was all set to finally pull itself up to par with the Pre
. Now, things aren't so clear cut.
Needless to say, the news sent Palm's stock skyward, but it's pretty awful for Sprint. The company was likely banking on this release to pull over lots of customers from other carriers, but now that folks understand that they can simply wait "about six months" to get one on Verizon (and in separate news, AT&T!). For whatever reason, a lot of negative stigma is attached to the Sprint brand, and those that were teetering on switching will now likely wait things out until 1) the kinks are worked out and 2) the Pre is available on their favorite carrier (if it's Verizon or AT&T).
Specifically, Lowell McAdam stated: "Over the next six months or so you will see devices like Palm Pre and a second generation Storm. You can expect to see us launch a steady stream of new devices from multiple vendors
." In other words, the Pre is the biggest news, but yes, Verizon Wireless just admitted that a next-generation Storm (or the Storm 2) will also be arriving within around six months. Maybe Sprint should've locked down an iPhone-esque exclusivity agreement, huh?