VZW needs a strong consumer smartphone
Windows Mobile and BlackBerry are primarily biz devices, not consumer devices for the most part. iPhone and Pre/webOS are the two leaders in consumer oriented smartphones. Google is a question mark. It's primarily a geek device at this time but could eventually play well in either market.
I have a Pre and it's the strongest platform I've used (have used all the others) and is generally more open than iPhone but is not a biz device like BB.
I don't think Palm will fail w/out VZW since they are also rolling out in other countries, but they could use VZW support.
I wonder how many VZW customers hold out for a Pre would now consider a switch to Sprint?
And why couldn't a BB (the Storm in particular) be a useful consumer smartphone (considering that it has more features than most current consumer smartphones, including the Pre, out of the box, not to mention that it costs less than the Pre)? A Storm from VZW (two-year contract) is all of $50, which is a bargain for a non-junk phone period, let alone a smartphone. (That price is half that of the Pre or iPhone GS.)
The Pre has buzz because it uses webOS (cloud computing on the phone) and as long as it's on a second-tier (Sprint) network, I won't touch it with my local (VZW/Sprint) cell tower. (Then there is the Storm's price advantage over the Pre.)