Bottomline: Sprint’s Exclusive On The Palm Pre Lasts About Six Months

7 Comments

imageIt doesn’t matter which way you slice it: It’s looking like Sprint’s exclusive on the highly anticipated Palm (NSDQ: PALM) Pre may only last for six months.

Yesterday, Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam said during a webcast, that it plans to start offering the Palm Pre in the next six months or so, and a spokesman with Sprint (NYSE: S) Nextel confirmed its agreement with Palm runs through the year. “We have the Pre through 2009,” spokesman James Fisher told Dow Jones.

While a six-month head start is fairly typical for an exclusive, I think many thought Sprint’s agreement with Palm would last longer, and be similar to AT&T’s agreement with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL). AT&T (NYSE: T) has had the iPhone exclusive for at least three years, and now it’s pushing to extend it to 2011. Sprint has been doing a fair amount of advertising and evangelizing about the Pre, so it only seemed like a reasonable assumption. While this may be bad news for Sprint, which was expecting the Pre to be its flagship device that will generate new interest in the carrier, it may be OK. Sprint’s period of exclusivity falls during the super critical period of the year, where phone sales increase as kids return to school and the holidays hit.

7 Comments

Juno

If Palm, with their horrible balance sheet, did any agreement longer than 6 months with Sprint, then they shouldnt be in business. They need as many carriers as they can with a hot product like the Pre. Going to VZ and possible ATT in Jan 2010 is smart on their end, no matter what concessions Sprint gave them. Unlike Apple, who had a robust balance sheet along with a highly anticapted product (if not most anticipated product) could afford to do an agreement with one carrier for several years while the buzz was still hot (profit margin) and then look at other carriers to boost sales (velocity).

Timm

Sprint should be happy with their 6 months. Palm wants to compete in as many markets as possible which means making a GSM version imperative and trying to peddle it to ATT and other European and Asian carriers.

good morning sms

While a six-month head start is fairly typical for an exclusive, I think many thought Sprint’s agreement with Palm would last longer, and be similar to AT&T’s agreement with Apple

Sprint Sub

My friend work at Palm and I was able to play with the phone for sometime. The phone really don't impress me much. GUI is poor and funtionality is not quite like the iphone. I have a samsung instinct right now and the phone is probably on of the worst phone I had so far. Battery like sucks, interface is horrible. It a cheap version of the iphone. Bottom line, past on this phone

Michael

In case you didn't know, the Pre is designed to work on Sprint's 4G platform and is much cheaper than the iPhone, $50/month, which is $1,200 over the life of the two year contract. Great deal! a better phone than the iPhone, a 4G platform compared to ATT's 3G and $1,200 cheaper. Even if other carriers carry the Pre in 2010, Sprint will still be the only carrier with a 4G platform offering the Palm Pre.

Michael

Sprint just needed one decent smart phone, and they got the best in the Palm Pre. My only problem with sprint is that they have had a lousy selection of Smart phones and were it not for their promise of launching the Pre I would have most probably switched to ATT only becasue they had the iPhone. How did Sprint think they could get away with keeping Post-Paid customers with their lousy selection of phones is mind bogling. Nevertheless, Sprint needs to understand high margin Post-Paid customers need to be treated with respect by offering them a decent selection of phones. My HTC diamond works on a Windows based platform and costs the same as the iPhone and it sucks when you compare them. With the Pre I will now be able to have the best of the best and cheapest monthly plan for "simply everything," at $99.

Another thing everyone has to remember is that once Sprint's exclusivety runs out in 2010, Sprint will still be the only carrier offering the Pre on a 4G network capable of 6Mbps, which is 4 times faster than anything the competition has to offer and approximately 40% cheaper.

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