Don't panic: Verizon will get Palm Pre, too

The pairing of Sprint and Palm for the launch of the Pre was romantic. Don't laugh, you thought it too. Erstwhile smartphone leader Palm put its best hope for survival in the underdog wireless carrier who, without the Pre, has no ultra-competitive exclusive touchphone. Both companies have endured declining market share, and together they could take on the world and get some of it back.

Well that romance is over, and it ended a little more than a week before the Pre even hit consumer availability. Lowell McAdam, President and CEO of Verizon Wireless, yesterday announced that his company will offer the Pre "in the next six months."

This statement serves as a little insurance policy for Verizon, reminding customers that the exclusive relationship between Sprint and Palm is openly short term. From the beginning of the Pre's hype cycle, Palm CEO Ed Colligan has said that the device will be available on other carriers in 2010. While McAdam's announcement yesterday lacked any sort of specificity, it should keep Treo-wielding Verizonites from jumping ship to get first crack at the Pre in the next few weeks.

Further, McAdam noted that Verizon's exclusive BlackBerry Storm is expecting an update, and that Android-driven phones are coming "in the near future."

Unsurprisingly, the market responded strongly to McAdam's statements. Palm's stocks jumped 8% in value, and Sprint Nextel's dropped precipitously in early trading, only to climb back up in value this morning.

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