In what could be a second major blow to Palm in almost as many days, TheStreet.com is reporting that Verizon Wireless is passing on the Pre.
The Pre, Palm’s flagship smartphone, is exclusively available on Sprint’s network through 2009, but was widely expected to bolster Verizon’s relatively sparse smartphone lineup come January. In an apparent sweeping change of heart, Verizon Wireless executives have elected not to adopt the Pre according to the report’s source.
The report cited the Pre’s relatively sluggish sales — particularly as compared to Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry lineup — as a leading factor in the wireless carrier’s decision. The source also noted that Verizon was in negotiations to include its VCast App Store with the Pre, a move that would undermine Palm’s own webOS App Catalog.
On Wednesday, the USB Implementer’s Forum sided with Apple in Palm’s battle to keep the Pre’s ability to sync with iTunes alive. In a letter to Palm, the USB governing organization also cautioned the smartphone maker that its methodologies for tricking iTunes into believing that the Pre is an iPod is in violation of the organization’s policies.
While Palm recently announced a number of deals to bring the Pre to GSM carriers overseas, if the report is accurate it could mean a major setback for the already struggling company.
In an effort to buoy Palm’s spirits, a quote from the indisputable timeless classic ‘Jerry Maguire’ comes to mind: “Roll with the punches, tomorrow is another day.”
Update: [Via Digital Daily: Reports that Verizon Snubbed Palm "Off Base"] The Pre may still be Verizon-bound yet according to analysts incredulous of the TheStreet.com’s report. Many analysts are still saying the Pre will make its way onto Verizon ‘early next year.’