The Palm Pre is picking up steam as it fuels the media hype machine. As we near the June 6th launch of the Palm Pre on Sprint, rival carriers are gunning for a chance at the hotly-anticipated smartphone. Not to be outdone by the wireless underdog, both AT&T and Verizon Wireless have gone public with their intention to offer the Palm Pre on their respective networks “in the next six months or so” – essentially taking some air out of Sprint’s sails.
Today, Sprint has confirmed that they have an exclusive on the Palm Pre through 2009. That means rival carriers will be looking to offer the Palm Pre a little more than six months from now. Unfortunately, Sprint’s Pre sales numbers could suffer as potential customers wait for the Pre to hit Verizon Wireless or for the GSM Palm Pre to go live on AT&T. The GSM Palm Pre will presumably be capable of simultaneous voice and data service, one-upping the CDMA variant in big way.
Of course, the real winner here is Palm. Palm needs the Pre to be a huge success, and that’s only going to happen with widespread carrier support. If AT&T and Verizon’s plans to carry the Pre are echoed around the world, limited carrier support is no longer an obstacle to the Pre’s success. But, there’s still the issue of manufacturing enough Palm Pre’s to keep up with demand.
Palm is no doubt going to make a good chunk of change with the Pre, but poor Sprint may be left out of the party. If AT&T brings both the Palm Pre and the Palm Eos to market next year, we’re in for some exciting times in the US GSM market.