Palm Surges as Pre Goes to Verizon Next

Sprint's exclusive deal to sell the Palm Pre will be short-lived, with Verizon set to sell the phone in the next six months, according to 'Reuters.'
Publish date:

One of the weak links to



resurrection story was that it had too much riding on


(S) - Get Report


Concerns about one weak partner exclusively selling Palm's hotly anticipated Pre touchscreen phone were relieved Thursday when


(VZ) - Get Report

said it would start selling the phone in six months.

Speaking to investors Thursday at Barclays Capital 2009 Worldwide Wireless and Wireline Conference Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said the Palm Pre would be among the "steady stream" of new phones coming this year.

A Verizon representative said no date has been determined yet for the Pre's arrival.

Verizon is now the largest wireless telco in the U.S., and considered somewhat of a laggard behind


(T) - Get Report

in the smartphone arena. With the help of the popular


(AAPL) - Get Report

iPhone, AT&T has taken an early lead in the smartphone race.

The addition of Verizon to Palm's telco list more than doubles its Palm Pre sales opportunity. Verizon sells phones to 80 million customers, while Sprint has 50 million users to sell to.

Sprint is already feeling the squeeze, having been just late enough with the June 6 introduction of the Palm Pre to land in the shadow of Apple's expected iPhone unveiling June 8.

Sprint's small window of exclusivity for Palm Pre sales can't help much with its struggles to turn its money- and customer-losing fortunes around.

Palm shares rose 93 cents, or 9%, to $11.46, and is up 273% so far this year on Wall Street's belief that the Pre phone will restore Palm to glory.