Sprint already losing Palm Pre exclusivity

Ronny Kerr · July 27, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/996

Forecasts also see iPhone going to Verizon by next year, as smartphone market grows

Palm Pre on VerizonWouldn’t it be nice if you could choose any smartphone you wanted without automatically getting assigned to one particular service provider?

As of now, the ever-popular Apple iPhone comes with a 2-year contract through AT&T, while its fiercest, most recent competitor, the Palm Pre, can only be used through Sprint networks.

All that will change over the next year, as the smartphone makers get smarter and try to reach wider customer bases.

Verizon already announced that the Palm Pre will be made available for its network by early next year, according to numerous reports published today. The industry had been waiting for this news to become official, as it had already been reported that Sprint’s exclusivity deal with the Palm Pre was set to end by the end of 2009.

Verizon’s president and operating chief, Denny Strigl, emphasized that the carrier is aggressively expanding its line of smartphones, revealing that the BlackBerry Storm will receive a performance upgrade and that a Google Android phone is also in the works.

Admitting that the iPhone has exploded innovation in the mobile phone market, Strigl cites the latest release to AT&T’s favorite smartphone as the cause of profit loss for Verizon in late June.

But even the iPhone won’t be staying on just one provider for too long.

Because the exclusive agreement between Apple and AT&T is believed to also be ending soon—probably next year—there is no apparent reason Apple would lock itself into one carrier, unless Apple thinks AT&T provides the best service.

However, no one seems to think that’s the case. Last week, an analysis of a few considerably large tech blogging sites by PCWorld revealed widespread unhappiness with AT&T’s network speed and reliability.

Whether Apple will simply form a new exclusive agreement with a different service provider is unknown at this point, but with the Palm Pre branching out to multiple carriers, it doesn’t make sense for Apple to limit its iPhone to just one slice of the market. Most likely, we will see smartphones permeating through to more mobile carriers, as the BlackBerry has successfully done already.

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