Yesterday, an unconfirmed report stating the Verizon may have dropped its plans to offer the Palm Pre made headlines. Today came several responses that say the first report was incorrect.
Verizon Wireless executives said this summer that their company would introduce Palm’s latest “early next year”, but The Street said yesterday that it was told by inside sources that this carrier has lost all or most of its interest in this webOS-based smartphone due to weak consumer demand.
However, analysts at Deutsche Bank say there was no basis for that report. They wrote in a note to investors:
Our checks continue to point to healthy carrier demand for the Pre early in CY10. We believe Palm has placed orders with the supply chain for another version of the Pre with features highly consistent with a Verizon launch.
In adition, an analyst at Morgan Keegan & Co. wrote:
Palm reiterated its FY2010 guidance, which we believe REQUIRES a launch at Verizon (you just can’t get there with just Sprint and AT&T). Verizon has carried just about every Palm product in its history, and the Pre is clearly the best. We do not have insight as to the marketing support Palm will get from Verizon, but we see little risk in not getting a placement at this carrier.
Palm itself has never said that Verizon would be offering the Pre, but executives at this carrier had committed to it, including the CEO, Lowell McAdam.
An Overview of the Palm Pre and the webOS
The Palm Pre uses Palm’s webOS, the replacement for the venerable Palm OS. This is a new, multi-tasking operating system able to wirelessly synchronize a wide variety of data with online services like Google and Facebook, as well as Microsoft Exchange.
The webOS includes an on-device app store, and a growing collection of third-party software is available.
The Pre itself features a sliding keyboard as well as a multi-touch-capable 3.1-inch display. This device is also equipped with 8 GB of on-board storage (7 GB available to users), Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, and a 3.0 megapixel camera with LED flash.
So far, the exclusive U.S. provider of this smartphone is Sprint, who has added its mobile broadband service EV-DO Rev. A. A Verizon version would also have EV-DO.