Late yesterday we reported on a rumor that the Palm Pre would not end up on the Verizon Wireless network. If anything, the speculation pointed to Verizon launching the Palm Pre on a smaller scale and without any marketing support from the carrier. Today, two decidedly more reputable analysts are putting in their two cents – both saying that the Palm Pre is still expected to make a showing on Verizon’s US wireless network. Breathe easy folks, the Palm Pre is still coming to Verizon.
According to a research note from Deutsche Bank’s Jonathan Goldberg, TheStreet‘s report that Verizon shunned the Palm Pre is just plain wrong.
“We believe the press reports late Thursday afternoon that Verizon would not launch the Palm Pre are incorrect. Our checks continue to point to healthy carrier demand for the Pre early in calendar 2010. We believe Palm has placed orders with the supply chain for another version of the Pre with features highly consistent with a Verizon launch.”
Chiming in from Morgan Keegan & Co, analyst Tavis McCourt notes that Palm has already locked down Verizon Wireless as a carrier for its Palm Pre. Like Goldberg, McCourt sees the Palm Pre launching on Verizon early next year, possibly February. McCourt also mentions that the “post-deal” timing of yesterday’s rumor makes it that much more unlikely.
“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. The timing of the rumor post-deal makes it equally as dubious as the timing of the ‘Nokia will buy Palm’ rumor during the roadshow.”
It’s still not clear how much marketing support Verizon will lend the Palm Pre, but at least all signs are pointing to a green-light for a Verizon Palm Pre. That’s gotta be good news for Verizon customers fawning for the Palm Pre but too addicted to their “most reliable network” and its superior wireless performance.