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Exclusive: Pre 3 not coming to Sprint

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Oh boy. Just two years after launching the original Palm Pre as a major exclusive that Jon Rubinstein called "the coming out party for a new Sprint," it sounds like the Now Network is done with webOS: a trusted source tells us that the Pre 3 won't be coming to Sprint at all, and that HP hasn't planned any future devices for the carrier as of yet either. We don't know which party ultimately decided to pull the plug, but both sides certainly have their reasons to feel sour about the other: Sprint's openly said the Pre was a disappointment and refocused itself on Android, while the six-month exclusivity deal meant Palm wasn't able to launch the Pre on Verizon before the original Droid and take full advantage of Big Red's marketing muscle.

Of course, all that's in the past, and it's possible that Sprint turning to Android and Palm turning to HP were actually the best possible outcomes for both companies -- you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. But Sprint's always had the most Palm users of any carrier, and at this point they've got nowhere to go if they want to stay on webOS -- and that $50 TouchPad rebate HP offered to Pre / Pixi owners last week won't exactly ease the pain of a carrier switch. We'll see how this all shakes out, but we wouldn't be surprised if Sprint noticed a bump in Evo sales over the next few weeks.