Verizon passing on the Pre after all?

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If a report from TheStreet.com has it right, Verizon won't be picking up the Palm Pre after all. Showcased at this year's CES, Palm's flagship phone garnered quite the following, and was praised as a potential iPhone killer. Just prior to its official debut on Sprint's network in June, Verizon said it would offer the smartphone within six months.

Sprint replied by saying it held exclusive rights to the Pre through 2009, which left most with the impression that the handset would be available via Verizon in January 2010. Palm's CEO Jon Rubinstein recently fueled that anticipation when he said the handset was expected to appear on other networks very soon. Citing "people close to the discussions," TheStreet.com is now reporting that Verizon has decided not to back the Pre.

According to the sources, Verizon's change of heart is based on several factors, including the Pre's mediocre sales. Another is that Verizon wants its VCast application and download store to be featured on the smartphone, which would be in direct conflict with Palm's app store. The sources also say that Verizon wants to focus its support on new devices from Research In Motion and Motorola's Android effort.

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