Even though there are rumors that the Palm Pre will not be available on the Verizon Wireless network, Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg said he thinks recent reports are “off base.”
“We believe the press reports late Thursday afternoon that Verizon would not launch the Palm Pre are incorrect,” he noted in a research note. “Our checks continue to point to healthy carrier demand for the Pre early in calendar 2010. We believe Palm has placed orders with the supply chain for another version of the Pre with features highly consistent with a Verizon launch.”
The Pre is currently exclusive for Sprint-Nextel only, but there have been recent rumblings regarding a possible VZW launch.
Assuming VZW gets the Pre, it should also get the Pixi smartphone, which is essentially a cheaper version of the Pre. The only difference between the two phones, according to Palm, is that the Pixi won’t have built-in Wi-Fi ability.
Sprint will obviously want to remain the sole carrier for the Pre, and the company hasn’t disclosed when other carriers will have access to the phone. Apple continues to cash in on the iPhone, and T-Mobile has several upcoming Android devices, so Verizon appears to be the only company that could benefit from the Pre.
I’m not fully convinced Verizon would turn its back on the Pre, especially considering there was interest from VZW consumers in the device — they simply didn’t want to switch to Sprint — and Palm will likely do whatever it can to convince the wireless provider to pick up the phone.