In a potential blow for Sprint Nextel, Verizon Wireless' CEO said the largest U.S. carrier will have the Palm Pre in about six months.
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Palm 'Pre' Smartphone
Verizon Wireless will soon offer Android smartphones, the Palm Pre, and the sequel to the BlackBerry Storm, according to CEO Lowell McAdam.
During a Webcast with investors Thursday, McAdam said the largest mobile carrier in the United States will offer the Pre and Storm 2 "over the next six months or so." He also said Verizon would support phones powered by the Google-backed Android operating system by the end of the year.
The news could potentially be a blow for Sprint, which will be the exclusive provider of the Pre when it launches June 6. The smartphone was expected to be Sprint's flagship handset, but it will be more difficult to poach customers if the highly anticipated device will be on Verizon's network in only six months.
Palm wants to sell as many units as it can to the widest possible audience, and it is counting on the Pre and webOS to help it mount a comeback. This is also leading to speculation that AT&T may eventually offer the smartphone once Sprint's exclusivity deal is finished.
Verizon released the BlackBerry Storm last November and the touch-screen device had some software bugs that led to mixed reviews. The handset was still popular with consumers, and it sold more than a million units in about four months. The next generation of the smartphone is expected to add Wi-Fi, and it will likely ditch the SurePress screen for a new input method.
McAdam did not elaborate on what types of Android smartphones the carrier would offer, but Verizon will be one of the many companies offering Android-based handsets by the end of the year. Because the OS is open source, Verizon will be able to release Android smartphones that have the carrier's branded software and features.
Most companies are just starting the hard work of mobilizing workforces by bringing the software they use to smartphones. InformationWeek analyzed this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).
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