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Reuters is reporting that Sprint Nextel has the exclusive U.S. rights to sell the Palm Pre through the end of 2009. Their source is “a person familiar with the matter,” so you can take it with a grain of salt. This person, who asked not to be named, did not offer any insight beyond this year.

SeekingAlpha has posted a story (Why Sprint Needs the Palm Pre to Succeed) that has some more meat.

“It is clear that Sprint needs something to make customers stick around, and they believe that they have that silver bullet with their exclusive deal with Palm (PALM) to provide the new Pre handset.”

...One 'must-have' handset can be a huge boon to a carrier, and with Sprint’s high churn rate it needs to give consumers something to get excited about."

For sure, Sprint needs all the good news it can get.  More on Sprint's earnings can be found here.