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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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?"