Verizon has said they will be offering the Palm Pre in the US early next year, giving hope to millions of customers looking to get the new handset but not wanting to transfer to mobile operator Sprint.

"We plan to offer the Palm Pre early next year", chief operating officer Dennis Strigl said in a company conference, reports the LA Times.

Although Strigl wouldn't expand on the details of when the phone would land or what call packages would cost, the news could mean that the device could be heading to Vodafone in the UK as the two companies are closely linked.

Palm recently announced that it would be offering the Palm Pre in the UK on an exclusive deal with O2, however didn't confirm how long the exclusivity would last.

Meanwhile Sprint, perhaps gearing up for a life without the Pre as an exclusive, has announced that it has bought Virgin Mobile USA for $438 million as the company goes after the pre-paid market in the US.

"This acquisition will strengthen Sprint’s position in the growing prepaid segment by bringing together under one umbrella the iconic Virgin Mobile brand with Sprint’s successful Boost Mobile business", said the company in a statement.