Verizon lassos Pre, Android, and Storm 2
Looking for smart phones? Check out Verizon's upcoming lineup.
In the next six months, Mr. McAdam says, the company will introduce a revamped BlackBerry Storm, its own version of the Palm Pre, and the first of several Verizon phones that use Google's Android operating system. Also in the pipeline are another BlackBerry model, a "cousin" to the Pre, and the return of Motorola making smartphones for Verizon, according to PC Mag.
McAdam's announcement accomplishes two things. It demonstrates Verizon's clout in the cell phone industry, which is exactly where the company should be, considering the rapid decline of landline subscriptions. And it undercuts the smart-phone selection of its competitors – especially Sprint.
Sprint has flaunted its exclusive deal to carry the Pre when it releases on June 6. Some had even called it Sprint's "flagship" phone. But the news that patient Verizon customers can get their hands on the Pre without breaking their contracts could squelch the "switch itch" that we blogged about last week. "Last summer, 30 percent of iPhone buyers bailed on their old carriers to switch to AT&T," wrote colleague Andrew Heining. There goes much of Sprint's poaching potential.
You might say the same for T-Mobile's hold on the G1, the most popular Android phone. But everyone expected other carriers to eventually introduce Android phones of their own.
As for the Storm 2, let's hope the BlackBerry team learns from the rather negative reviews of the original.
It's probably unfair to comment on the rumors of Verizon cutting a deal with Apple for an iPhone-esque device, but such a partnership would solidify the carrier's role as a smart-phone powerhouse. Even without an iGadget, McAdam's lineup leaves a lot to buzz about.