Palm and Verizon looking to take shine off Apple and AT&T

In a minefield of failed "iPhone killers" one is making some headway on fulfilling that murderous promise: the Palm Pre.

Perhaps it's no surprise: the Palm Pre was conceived by a team that includes plenty of Apple alumni, including Jon Rubenstein, who was made Palm's CEO yesterday to replace Ed Colligan. (John Gruber reminds us of one of Colligan's more famous quotes.) Rubenstein used to be the general manager of Apple's iPod division.

Not only that, but Fred Anderson, Lynn Fox, and Mike Bell are all connected (if not employed by) the re-energized Palm. Valleywag's Ryan Tate says it's no wonder, then, that the Pre syncs with iTunes right out of the box.

Competition is good, though, right? We'll see improvements to both the iPhone and the Pre because of the products' competitive relationship with each other. Look at the rivalry between Canon and Nikon: The result? Awesome cameras both. In the end, the customer wins.

This is true with carriers, too, as exclusivity agreements begin to expire. There were rumblings that the Pre would be released on the Verizon network around Christmas, but blowback from Sprint CEO Dan Hesse pushed the rumor mill's schedule back a month to January 2010, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Watercooler talk suggests that the iPhone's exclusivity agreement with AT&T expires around the same time for U.S. customers, but the Magic 8 Ball says that we might not see an iPhone for Verizon until both they and AT&T finish their LTE networks.

If you're using a Pre with your Mac, especially if you're taking advantage of the iTunes sync capability, let us know in the comments how it's going.