Sorry, Sprint! Verizon Preps for Pre

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Pity poor Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  ) . The Wall Street Journal reports that in January 2010, Sprint will no longer be the exclusive carrier for Palm's (Nasdaq: PALM  ) Pre, as Verizon Wireless joins the Pre party.

I've got calls in to both Sprint and Palm to confirm the Journal's story, but the paper isn't the first to raise this exact possibility. Last month, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam told attendees of an investor conference that he expected devices "like the Palm Pre" to be available on his company's network before the end of the year.

Both reports bode poorly for Sprint, which apparently lacks the clout to keep a winner, the way that AT&T (NYSE: T  ) has snuggled up to Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPhone.

Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless remains a boon for parent Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ  ) . Domestic wireless revenue grew 12.4% in 2008 -- not as fast as AT&T's 15.6%, iPhone-aided clip, but far better than Sprint, which has suffered declining wireless revenue since 2006.

These are the sorts of numbers that bring smiles to the faces of our 135,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community:


Verizon Communications

CAPS stars (5 max)


Total ratings


Percent Bulls


Percent Bears


Bullish pitches

535 out of 574

Data current as of June 10, 2009.

"Long term, I think they'll have problems but for the next year or two I think they'll do pretty good," wrote CAPS member samstevens last month. "No one is going anywhere without a cell phone, and people will start demanding better service, and Verizon will be the ones who give it to them."

To be fair, Verizon isn't the only telecom stock worth looking into. Our Motley Fool Inside Value team still likes Sprint Nextel. I've argued in favor of AT&T previously.

But Verizon increasingly looks like the winner. It boasts a better network reputation than most, plus a broad-shouldered smartphone portfolio that, thanks to the Pre, is about to get broader.

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Apple is a Stock Advisor selection. Sprint Nextel is an Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy wonders how anything could come before a device called "Pre?"

Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (13)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2009, at 3:12 PM, dino1818 wrote:

    How can I get excited for Verizon getting the Pre six months after Sprint when I know that Verizon will charges much more for any associated calling plan than Sprint? Verizon is among the most expensive wireless carriers in the nation. Also, Sprint's 3G network is the best in the industry. No thanks. I'll buy my Pre from Sprint this month!

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2009, at 3:37 PM, dino1818 wrote:

    Look at how much Sprint plans save you over Verizon and AT&T plans. Why throw money away, especially in this economy?

    Individual Plans:

    Family Plans:

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2009, at 4:27 PM, dino1818 wrote:

    Sorry, Tim. Your article blows as bad as your headline. Do you have a friend or relative who works at Verizon, or do you own some Verizon stock? Are you an unofficial member of their PR team? I'm just asking because I can't believe you'd direct people to one of the most expensive and difficult wireless companies to deal with (Verizon).

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2009, at 5:28 PM, jayg3380 wrote:

    Uhhhh I'm not sure who you have as a carrier DINO, but Sprint is awful!!! Haha Yea they are cheap but they are cheap for a reason. And just to let you know you are false advertising when you say they have the best 3g network in the industry, They have no coverage!! Thats hilarious that you would want a cheap network, I'll steal AT&T's words here by saying why would you want an unlimited plan on and very very limited network?? There is absolutely no comparison between Verizon and Sprint. I mean what kind of company loses millions of customers every quarter?? Theres a reason Verizon has the most loyal customers in the industry, and yea they may be a little more expensive but I'd rather have my calls go through and have good customer service, If you dont believe me, do your own research online, haha even Tmobile is better than Sprint!

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2009, at 9:26 PM, thebuck5500 wrote:

    I have both Verizon and Sprint accounts in my family. Sprint is by far the better value and has more features than Verizon. They are also better to deal with.

    Not sure what you guys are looking at thinking

    Verizon is better. Sprint has better network coverage in the Detroit Metro area, all inclusive plans with TV, GPS, and more all for less than my less dependable Verizon connections.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2009, at 12:56 AM, ShauntH wrote:

    If this story is true, must suck for Verizon subscribers to have to wait 6 months. I guess its better than nothing though.

    Furthermore, I doubt Sprint will let this one slip away especially because Sprint has a good relationship with Palm.

    Sprint all the way. Can't be happier.

  • Report this Comment On June 15, 2009, at 8:30 PM, christyhicks wrote:

    Well, we currently use T-mobile, Alltel (soon to be Verizon) and Sprint/Nextel, and I tell you what. . . If ANYONE had a decent two way we'd have dumped Sprint a long time ago. Having had cell phones, two way radios, etc., since the 80's, I can assure you we've had experience with numerous phones/plans/companies and I have NEVER dealt with a company like Sprint.

    Previously, Nextel was OK, but numerous calls to Sprint to request a detailed billing for one month in which, suddenly, we went WAY over included minutes, resulted in nothing but frustration and a refusal by Sprint personnel to provide us with the information we requested. At one point, the Sprint CSR actually told me that I had a bad connection and should call them back, which was comical since I was ON the Sprint phone at the time. Of course, I immediately pointed out that if I had a poor connection, I WONDER WHY THAT COULD BE SINCE I WAS CALLING ON THEIR OWN NETWORK!!!! (Funny, every month since that one resulted in or normal usage and no overages.) It was simply too expensive for us to waste more employee-hours chasing this down. My point is not about the dollar loss, but rather, the refusal to provide a customer with the requested information about their own usage. . .and not just by one CSR, but but several, AND absolutely no response to e-mails. This goes beyond lack of customer service and makes one wonder exactly WHO is in charge of the entire department.

    People are fleeing Sprint on a monthly basis for a good reason, and many are likely to be like us, simply stuck because of our desire for two-way service.

    I've also noticed that on various forums to which we belong, especially travel related forums, it's always the Verizon customers who brag the most on their service, and on their dealings with Verizon.

    There are many factors that go into helping us choose our investments, but it doesn't hurt to remember some of the basics: you should have to have a service/product that people want or need, you should be profitable, and you should keep your existing customers happy while shopping for new ones. . .oh, and it doesn't hurt to be honest.

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