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AT&T Expects to Sell the Palm Pre

ATT Palm PreAT&T's Chief Executive Randall Stephenson made comments today on the Palm Pre at the D: All Things Digital conference hosted by The Wall Street Journal. In an article detailing his speech and the current status of the AT&T network, Mr. Stephenson is quoted as saying that he sees AT&T selling the Pre after the exclusive arrangement with Sprint expires.

While still not official, this comment would be the first positive indication that a domestic bound GSM version of the Palm Pre is due at some point. Since Sprint's exclusivity deal is expected to last through the end of the year, AT&T may be be able to offer the Pre until sometime in 2010. A video of Walt Mossberg's interview is also embedded after the break.

Thanks to PhoneScoop for the tip.

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If this is true...

bhartman34 @ 5/27/2009 4:09:26 PM # Q
...then my Palm Pre quandry is over. I'll almost certainly have the ability to get a Pre from AT&T when my contract expires in February, so I'll have two choices: Stay w/ AT&T or go to Sprint, both on the Pre. :)

Sucks having to wait until then, though. :(

RE: If this is true...it isn't
SeldomVisitor @ 5/28/2009 4:12:12 AM # Q
The CEO was talking about wanting a range of phones since phones are what attract customers.

I think "context" needs to be wrapped around his single sentence comment, no?

RE: If this is true...
bhartman34 @ 5/28/2009 5:13:50 AM # Q
Mr. Stephenson added he sees AT&T selling the Pre after the exclusive arrangement with Sprint expires, and that the recession's biggest impact has been on the company's landline phone business.

Now, Mr. Stephenson might not have actually said that, but if he did, that seems pretty clear cut, doesn't it?

RE: If this is true...
SeldomVisitor @ 5/28/2009 5:50:48 AM # Q
Indeed, those words are VERY clearcut, as a matter of fact!

Giggle.

RE: If this is true...
LiveFaith @ 5/28/2009 6:36:58 AM # M Q
Bring it ATT! I'm ready in December.

BTW, this should give you 6 months to load the firmware with all sorts of bloatware in order to bring the Pre to a snails pace. Witness my once speedy 680, now an ATT improved lag-master.

RE: If this is true...
bcogis @ 5/28/2009 8:16:00 AM # Q
I think it's a great tact for AT&T to say they too will carry the Pre. That way if the phone is a hit, AT&T customers will wait for the Pre instead of jumping ship. I wonder how happy they'll be when they find out AT&T won't be carrying the Pre?

Are people naive enough to think Apple has no leverage with AT&T?

RE: If this is true...
nastebu @ 5/28/2009 9:51:07 AM # Q
Of course, this means that Sprint will see fewer people switching carriers for a Pre. If I suspect that the Pre is coming to my carrier in a few months, I'm much less likely to go through the trouble to change service, much less pay an early termination fee.

It seems odd to me that Sprint would not have locked Palm into a longer exclusive period. If they are subsidizing the handset at a very high level, you'd think they'd have asked for more.

RE: If this is true...
hkklife @ 5/28/2009 11:09:32 AM # Q
Nastebu;

Unless, Palm has a more compelling Pre 2 on the horizon that Sprint are eager to get their hands on. So while everyone else is scrambling to get the 8GB, no expansion card, no video recordin' Pre 1.0, Sprint will be trotting out a Pre 2 w/ 16GB and other improvements in time for Christmas....look how Palm has traditionally introduced their latest & greatest (755p, Centro) on Sprint then had it trickle down to other carriers later on.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: If this is true...
bcogis @ 5/28/2009 1:11:42 PM # Q
Good point about Palm's history in releasing phones. What I enjoy most about AT&T jumping on the bandwagon is the fact that the Pre must be a really good phone for them to put themselves out there like that. Can't wait till June 6th!!
RE: If this is true...
bcogis @ 5/28/2009 1:25:42 PM # Q
Just in from D7- Verizon has officially jumped on the bandwagon! Says alot about the Pre.
RE: If this is true...
malgeri @ 5/28/2009 5:29:21 PM # Q
personally I'd love to see the pre on AT&T, my contract expires in August but, this could just be a shot over apples bow since they've been talking about releasing the iphone to other carriers. Here's hoping.
RE: If this is true...
bhartman34 @ 5/29/2009 10:38:09 AM # Q
bcogis wrote:
I think it's a great tact for AT&T to say they too will carry the Pre. That way if the phone is a hit, AT&T customers will wait for the Pre instead of jumping ship. I wonder how happy they'll be when they find out AT&T won't be carrying the Pre?

Are people naive enough to think Apple has no leverage with AT&T?

Apple's exclusive deal with AT&T expires next year, and what are the chances that Apple won't broaden the distribution of the iPhone (especially with the lackluster stories going around about the iPhone's performance on AT&T's network)? Once the Apple goes to other networks, what leverage will Apple have left? That's what makes the story plausible.

I have to say, though, that when I saw what Stephenson actually said about it, I'm somewhat surprised it's been interpretted the way it has been. Here's the quote that I found:


"Would I like to see that on our network some day? Of course I would," Stephenson said of the Pre. "We obviously talk to all the handset manufacturers. We want a broad selection of devices in the lineup. That's important."

That sounds a lot less like an imminent plan for a deal than it does a "Well, yeah, eventually..." kind of statement.

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