Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam last year promised a device like the Palm Pre would land at Verizon, and now it is. Verizon Wireless and Palm used today's opening of the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to announce the Jan. 25 availability of Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus.
The Palm Pre first debuted on Sprint's network last summer. Last May, McAdam said that "over the next six months or so" devices like the Pre would come to Verizon's network. That prompted Sprint's stock to fall and Sprint then said its Pre exclusivity would last through 2009.
Verizon is putting a twist to its launch of the Plus version by tying it to a Palm mobile hot spot, a webOS app that can be downloaded from the Palm App Catalog for Wi-Fi access. The hot spot can accommodate up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as notebooks, netbooks, cameras, gaming devices or portable media/MP3 players, much like the MiFi product.
"The Palm experience is all about helping our customers stay connected so they never miss a thing," said Jon Rubinstein, Palm chairman and CEO, in a statement. "We're constantly enriching this experience with new features and innovations. The Verizon Wireless launch of Pre Plus and Pixi Plus is the next phase in delivering this unique Palm experience to more people."
Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus will be available online and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning Jan. 25. Pricing wasn't announced today. The 3G mobile hot spot is a separately-purchased feature added to a voice and data plan.
The Palm App Catalog currently offers more than 1,000 webOS applications.