Palm New Year, New Carrier ... Finally


Palm's press conference at CES will be Thursday January 7th where they'll likely announce the Palm Pre 3 with Verizon. It's taken almost a year since I first recommended Palm needed another carrier. Palm's stock performance this year was certainly improved by the original Pre introduction but it failed to translate into meaningful revenue and profit growth. I believe Palm's Webkit and friendly developer tools still make it a viable device but Verizon will have to position it against the highly marketed Droid and quite possibly by summer, the Apple CDMA iPhone 4G. The New Year is shaping up well for Verizon as they seem to be placing their bets across the smartphone "blue line." When you have real spectrum, you have nothing to worry about. I would be concerned with how the unlocked Google phone would perform on T-Mobile. Even a subsidized T-Mobile handset would be dependent on wide spectrum availability (>100MHz) in thin metro spots. With the new Verizon deal, Palm needs to show it can grow revenue and profit margin. Verizon could have the Pre 3 at the low end, the Droid in the mid-range and the iPhone 4G at the high end. The CDMA communication logic for the 4G might not be ready in time for the Apple Tablet (should it have built-in WWAN support in the first place), but I'd like to see Verizon pick up the Apple Tablet early on. No doubt, January will be a busy mobility month!