Palm Pre Arriving on Verizon Wireless' Network in 2010
The Palm Pre smartphone will no longer be exclusive to the Sprint network, and will arrive on the Verizon Wireless network "early next year," said Verizon COO Denny Stigl during the carrier's July 27 quarterly earnings call. Strigl also said a BlackBerry Storm refresh and a device running the Google Android OS are on the way.
During a July 27 Verizon
Wireless conference call with analysts and media, intended for the carrier to
share its revenue results for the second quarter of 2009, Verizon's
president and chief operating officer, Denny Strigl, said Verizon will offer
the Palm Pre in early 2010.
During a question-and-answer period, analysts asked Strigl and Verizon Chief Financial Officer John Killian about any pressure the carrier felt related to "competitive offerings," and what devices were upcoming-a line of questioning seemingly intended to eke out details on the possibility of a Verizon iPhone.
Instead, listeners learned there was a Palm Pre in the pipeline.
"You can expect to see a steady stream of attractive devices coming from Verizon Wireless," said Strigl. "For example, we launched the BlackBerry Tour on July 12. We plan to refresh the Storm later this year."
Strigl continued, "Android is on our road map. We have Motorola devices that are coming, and we plan to offer the Palm Pre early next year, and we have continued excellent relationships with LG and Samsung. So yes, we do have a great device lineup."
The announcement-or perhaps slip-is particularly telling in light of a recent letter Verizon sent to the House of Representatives, a move it has called "proactive," promising that going forward, it will restrict all exclusivity contracts with handset manufacturers to a period of six months.
It was a widely noted gesture, given that the two most attention-grabbing devices currently under exclusivity contacts, and which have succeeded in drawing enormous attention to their carriers, are the Apple iPhone on the AT&T network and the Palm Pre on the Sprint network.
AT&T's exclusive rights to the iPhone are expected to expire in 2010, though exact details of the agreement aren't known. How long Sprint would be the sole purveyor of the Pre is also unknown-particularly after Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told the press in early June that Sprint's exclusivity contract with the Pre exceeded six months, and so consumers shouldn't expect to find it on the Verizon or AT&T networks by then.
If the agreement is for a year, that would cue the arrival of a Verizon Palm Pre come May.
Like Strigl, Sprint's Hesse also recently announced that his carrier would soon be releasing a mobile device running Google's Android operating system. In Sprint's case, the Android phone, likely from Motorola, will arrive before the end of the year.