Why Verizon's Probably Still Getting the Pre

A report from TheStreet is getting everyone all worked up, and rightly so: Dropping the Pre would be an idiotic move for Verizon, and a lame turn for their customers. But hey, don't fret too hard! At least, not yet.

It's important to remember the context here, because before TheStreet's rogue report, everything was awfully clear: Back in May, Verizon's CEO specifically said they'd be offering the Pre in "six months or so," which, despite some waffling on dates, and speculation that Verizon was just trying to poop all over Sprint's fancy phone party, still stands. And since then, evidence of a Verizon launch has been slowly mounting, seemingly to the point of no return. One analyst:

Palm reiterated its FY2010 guidance, which we believe REQUIRES a launch at Verizon (you just can't get there with just Sprint and AT&T)

In other words, Palm just restated—like, a day ago—an official full-year estimate for their company which, according to analysts, can't be anywhere near accurate if a Verizon deal isn't happening. Dropping their Pre plans at this point wouldn't just be a bad move in terms of attracting people to Verizon, it might actually break financial reporting regulations.

To put it another way, the only thing that's changed is that one publication has run an anonymously-sourced claim that Verizon's dropping the Pre, justified only by a flimsy VCast integration and software modification conflict—which hasn't stopped Verizon from carrying mostly un-tampered-with BlackBerrys, by the way—and softened by the fact that it basically contradicts itself:

Sources did say that Verizon could be more delicate about the decision and order just a small amount of Pre phones with no intention of lending much marketing support.

Verizon might not want the Pre; also, Verizon might want the Pre, a little! Gotcha.

So, stubborn Verizon holdouts: keep holding out. [AllThingsD, CNBC]