In what I can only compare to a steel-toed kick to the groin, per a report from Reuters, Lowell McAdam of Verizon said this in a webcast:
“Over the next six months or so you will see devices like Palm Pre and a second generation Storm,” on the Verizon Wireless network, McAdam told a webcast.
Technically, he didn’t claim that Verizon was getting the Palm Pre (rather “devices like Palm Pre”), but that’s how it was reported and the financial repercussions were immediate – Palm and Verizon stock rose, Sprint declined. I’m guessing Wall Street realizes if people think Verizon is getting the Palm Pre this year, then few VZ customers will defect to Sprint and wait for it on VZ instead. It’s also been reported that AT&T wants the Pre, but wanting something and stating (indirectly) that you’re getting it are two different things.
Personally, I think McAdams was referring to the types of products they were getting, not necessarily specific devices (although it’s safe to assume they’ll get the next BlackBerry Storm), but the damage has been done (intentionally, I think). How do you read this? Does this possibility change anyone’s plans?
Update (5/29/09 2:14 PM ET): Sprint’s official response (via Gizmodo):
Not a definitive statement either way, but I think we can safely infer that the Palm Pre will open to other carriers once the year is up. I understand why no one wants to make direct statements on timetables, but it’s not like people can’t draw their own conclusions on this.