Palm Pixi’s Verizon Debut May be Delayed

Palm has been forced to delay shipments of its Pixi smartphone to Verizon and thus delay the rollout due to problems when testing the phone on Verizon’s network. That’s the claim in the Chinese-language Commercial Times and picked up by DigiTimes, the Taiwan-based news site that publishes its news in English.

The news came from the Chinese perspective since Palm’s (NASDAQ: PALM) manufacturing partner in China was adversely impacted. Compal Communications, maker of the Pixi, said it would ship only 600,000 phones in the fourth quarter of 2009 instead of the 800,000 units previously projected.

The reason for the delay cited is that the Pixi’s software failed to pass tests conducted by Verizon Wireless, said the paper, causing shipments to Verizon to be delayed to the first quarter of 2010.

Verizon was not available for comment. A Palm spokesman would not comment because, as he noted, the reports of a Verizon release for the Pixi are also rumors. “Speculation has become so rampant people take it is gospel. So it would be impossible to confirm a rumor about a rumor,” he told

The rumors have been rather persistent, even more than the iPhone-to-Verizon speculation that has gone on for months. The mobile phone blog Boy Genius Report even had a photo of Verizon employee training documents for webOS, the operating system that powers the Pre and Pixi.

The current rumor is that both the Pixi and its big brother, the Pre, would be available to Verizon customers under the name Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus. No one seems to know yet what the “Plus” in the phones might mean though.

Palm has just released version 1.3.5 of webOS, which can be upgraded over the air instead of connecting it to a computer to download the update. Among the reported changes are enhancements to the App Catalog, Calendar, Date & Time, Device Info, Email, Messaging, System, Updates and Web, as well as some security enhancements.

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