Citing sources “close to the discussions”, TheStreet is reporting that Verizon has done an about face and is no longer planning on selling the Palm Pre on their network.
The move would be a dramatic setback for the up-from-the-ashes Palm story. The company desperately needs to secure more telco partners to sell its flagship phone. In addition to Sprint, Palm has named only Bell Mobility in Canada and Telefonica’s O2 units in the U.K. and Germany as its exclusive partners.
The Pre thus far has been a modest hit for Palm, but apparently hasn’t pushed enough units and/or attracted enough new subscribers to Sprint to make it a “must have” for Verizon.
Is Verizon, perhaps, trying to save its marketing muscle for the 4th generation iPhone sometime in 2010? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but Verizon’s about face is somewhat surprising given the fact that their smartphone lineup still lacks a blockbuster device as the BlackBerry Storm just doesn’t cut it.