There’s a small storm of curiosities building around Palm as of late, and it just got a little bit more interesting. The Street yesterday published a report stating that Verizon Wireless will not carry the Pre.
A spokesman for Verizon Wireless declined comment on the report today. However, The Street reports that a Palm representative commented that “Palm never names Verizon as one of its carrier partners.”
If true, the move would signal a retreat from Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s claims back in May that the carrier would have the Pre in six months.
Regardless of the implications for Verizon, Palm could see the snub as nothing more than bad news. Palm’s only carrier partners beyond Sprint are O2 in Europe and Bell Mobility in Canada. To be sure, Palm needs another major U.S. carrier.
Possibly signaling even more trouble within the company, Palm this week upped its share offering by 25 percent in an effort to raise more cash in light of disappointing Pre sales. That news was accompanied by additional rumors that Nokia might be interested in acquiring Palm.
The Nokia rumor sent shares of Palm higher. The Street’s report sent Palm shares tumbling by 5 percent.
Relative to the hype building up to the release of the Pre, expectations were high for the device. Both Palm and Sprint were on shaky ground, and both OEM and carrier had hoped the Pre would emerge as a strong competitor for the iPhone. Many called the device a make-or-break launch for Palm.