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Verizon seen turning to Palm; Droid "disappointing?"

updated 02:30 pm EST, Tue November 17, 2009

Analysts see Palm at Verizon next year

Palm may prove to be Verizon's best hope if the Droid line doesn't bear fruit, Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu said in a note today. He points to contacts within the cell industry and supply chain that suggest Verizon will carry one or more of Palm's webOS phones, such as the Pre or Pixi, sometime in 2010. Sales of both the Motorola Droid and HTC's Droid Eris have purportedly been "somewhat disappointing" and may lead to Verizon using Palm to bolster its smartphone catalog.

Adoption of the smartphones could happen as early as the first half of the year as Sprint's exclusive isn't expected to last past 2009. Verizon's wireless chief Lowell McAdam has also signaled a desire to attach Palm's new devices to the network.

Wu adds that Palm has advantages that can't necessarily be matched by Android. Although Google's platform has multi-manufacturer support, Palm can directly tie software to new hardware features and supports full multi-touch where Android 2.0 only has limited recognition. Accordingly, Palm can produce a more cohesive experience even with more limited resources.

Claims of sub-par Droid sales are new and may partly contradict rough predictions that more than a quarter million have bought the Droid in its first week. While a fraction of Apple's iPhone 3GS launch numbers even in the US, the Droid is thought to have had a better launch than the Pre and T-Mobile's myTouch 3G, both of which are estimated to have moved about 60,000 units each in their opening weekends.

Barclays Capital analyst Amir Rozwadowski partly backed Wu's analysis in his own note today. He warns that demand for the Pre is "tempered" this fall and that Palm's limited recognition in Europe won't help the company but stresses that the smartphone designer is in a stable position with little immediate risk. Rozwadowski also expects Palm to reach Verizon and says it could be a "critical part" of the company's strategy to branch out to Verizon, possibly with a launch for the Pre in February.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ScottG

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If Verizon picks up the Palm PRE line for real, they better get on the ball and offer more Apps then just the 375 they have now in just 5 months since the release in June.

    Then the Application Limit need to be fixed by Palm, because right now there is a Memory Limit of 256Mb for installed and Purchased Applications, and as of the update 1.3.1 on Nov 15th, this is still a sicking limitation of the OS.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Verizon is clueless

    The Pre is a piece of c***, especially when compared to the Droid. I'm still wondering how they crippled it in order to do open wallet surgery on subscribers for every little thing.

  1. DanielSw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More desperation

    In the absence of enough facts from either side, and until any court decision over the Verizon/AT&T conflict gets published, I still don't like the character of V's advertising. I think they're doing themselves more harm than good with such an apparently overly-critical attitude.

    So why haven't we seen any stellar news of either the Droid's or the Pre's amazing sales figures? Could it be that Apple's success hasn't indeed been based merely on the iPhone itself, but on how well it works with its apps and its interoperability with customers' computers?

    Or perhaps it's because of how well it works in conjunction with AT&T's system, and the pleased customers are simply too busy using their nifty iPhones to have to have enough time to weigh in here on these article threads on the positive side.

    Hmmmm. . .

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's more than the phone

    I had a neigbhor gloating over her Pre being better than my iPhone because it can run multiple apps at once. Of course there's hardly any apps available and that memory limit as well.

    It's more than the phone's potential, it's the ecosystem that surrounds it. The iPhone isn't perfect, but it is damned good and it offers so much more than its competitors.

  1. fattychance

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm an AT&T customer that is seriously considering switching to Verizon for the Droid...but I have an iPhone and I'm still on contract.

    Maybe if they would pick off my ETF ($110x2), it would be a little more palatable going to them for the Droid. I wish the industry just made the subsidy part of the bill and the bill would decrease at the end of the payoff. I like to upgrade every 6's built in. They should stop thinking of themselves as anything more than a commodity dumb pipe.

    Their ad is compelling is also compelling. I live in the AT&T white map. Verizon and Sprint have 3G services here...It's an hour and a half drive to get to some blue. I get that edge sucks so bad.

    If you are using edge for data, the call doesn't even come through...then the call goes to voicemail...and you know what....that gets delayed by a day, sometimes.

    When Verizon says they are better, they are. Hands down.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You want to ditch an iphone for ....... the droid? *tries to understand*

    If your service is having an issue instead of standing there staring at device expecting it to be resolved with just time, how bout call att and sew what's going on. Sometimes it's a setting somewhere in their device handling system that just needs a reset. If you live in an area without any 3G coverage, why are you having an iPhone 3G, you could just as easily have bought a much less expensive phone & a iPod touch till 3G was ready in your area...

    In any case, anyone who is clamoring for a droid likely has not even put their hands on one yet, nor realized it's not possible to do data + voice at the same time using vz or sprint's network. Talk about not being able to do more than one thing at a time, they fail to make people aware of that huge shortfall.

    And also, their 3G maxes out at less than half the max speed of att's 3G. 1.4 mbits vs 3 mbits and soon upgrades. Big red isn't planning speed upgrades, while 7plus mbit will be rolled out by end of 2010 on blue, then LTE after that.

    Sounds like you're disappointed at being stuck in EDGE land, which by the way is all most as fast as EVDO's lower end. Data speeds below EVDO drop down to slower than dialup, whereas EDGE not only has better coverage, but you also can fall back onto GPRS.

    ATT has the fastest netowork, even if they are somewhat behind in "3G" coverage due to an agonizingly complicated build-out process stemming from things earlier in the decade.

    - A

  1. Timon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Droid

    I've had a Droid since last Wednesday with no real problems. The biggest issue is the voice dialing which needs a lot of work. Other than that there is a lot to like about the Droid and Apple would be advised to take notice. The virtual keyboard is as good if not better than the iPhone. I'll lay odds that we'll see 25 to 30,000 or more Apps by this time next year and many of them will be by the same developers programming for the iPhone.

    If Verizon gets the iPhone next year I may move to it but not if I loose much of the functionally the Droid has.

    Oh, I though that only having 260MB of storage for Apps would be an issue but I've loaded a fair number of Apps and I still have 215MB left. What many don't understand is that although the Apps it's self has to be in the phones memory the data can be loaded onto the SD card.

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Verizon is really showing their desperation. They're willing to try anything to combat the iPhone. First, it was Samsung/LG phones, then Droid, then Palm...

    What they should do is beg and plead Apple to make a CDMA iPhone for them to sell.

  1. obiwan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I feel like I've wandered onto the Fox News of consumer electronics news? Every other source I've read shows that Verizon/Google are "pleased" with the first week of sales numbers for the Droid. Sure, the numbers may not be compared to the iPhone 3GS first week of sales, but bear in mind that Apple also had a 27 million user base already in place, and launch was sold across 8 countries.

    Droid is still the new kid on the block, and sales will probably be steady through the holidays. I have encountered plenty of people that were thinking of getting the Droid, but didn't want to get it launch day just to see what other people though to of the phone first. And a good number of them are iPhone owners too that are not satisfied with the service from AT&T.

  1. scrappy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Don't count the Droid out too soon. It has some killer apps like Google Navigation and Google Voice that are very enticing. It is rumored the NeuroMobile app will be available on the Droid soon. With that said it may be impossible for the Droid or Pre to compete with the 100,000 apps (many of them are very compelling) that are available on the iPhone. The smartphone competition is no longer about the handsets. It's all about applications and the iPhone is wining that competition for now.

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