Verizon and Google Team Up for Android Phones

By  |  Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 10:57 am

Verizon and AndroidGoogle’s Android phone OS may have gotten off to a slower start than I’d have expected, but it’s quickly making up for lost time. Today’s news: Google and Verizon Wireless are working together directly to design new Android phones, the first of which will be unveiled in “the next few weeks.” They’ll come with Google Voice.

The proof will be in the pudding phones, but it’s good news for consumers that the nation’s largest wireless carrier will be getting Android phones. It’s good news for Verizon, too–the company’s signature smartphone, the BlackBerry Storm, didn’t turn out to be a particularly formidable iPhone rival, and the Google partnership gives Verizon multiple additional shots at getting phones that are cool enough to grab mindshare and marketshare away from AT&T and Apple. (We still have no idea whether Verizon will get the iPhone anytime soon.)

For all the Android phones released and announced to date, I think we still haven’t seen the platform’s defining handset–the one that’s slick enough to join the iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre among the most sophisticated next-generation smartphones. (We haven’t seen a BlackBerry that fits that description, either–and definitely not a Windows Mobile phone.) Sounds like it won’t be too long until we’ll be able to form opinions about whether one of the first Verizon/Google offerings might be that phone.

Heck, maybe I’m just in an upbeat mood, but this is potentially good news for iPhone owners, too. The more smartphones from other carriers that have Google Voice, the greater the chances that Apple might decide it’s in its competitive interests to stop pondering the Google application and get it for the App Store. Wouldn’t be cool if AT&T ended up putting pressure on Apple to…approve innovative telephony apps like Google Voice?

 
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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Aaron Pressman Says:

    You’re really, really cutting Verizon a lot of slack in this post. They have hamstrung and restricted pretty much every semi-decent phone they’ve ever offered to protect various mobile revenue streams.

    I was particularly troubled by this line in the press release: “pre-loaded with innovative applications from both parties as well as third-party developers.” You don’t want Verizon’s apps and you sure can bet Verizon isn’t going to allow 3rd party apps to cut off any of their revenue, even if they do allow some version of Google voice (which appears to consume cellular minutes).

  2. Harry McCracken Says:

    Oh, I agree that there’s no existing evidence that’s reason for excitement over Verizon apps. And one of the reasons I stopped being a Verizon customer around six years ago was the generally boring quality of their phones, an issue which persists.

    Verizon could use better smartphones, and Android needs wider deployment, and I’d like to see Google Voice on as many phones as possible, so the partnership has the potential of making good things possible. Like I said, though, it’s ultimately all about the phones–and we don’t know anything at all about them yet. But we will soon enough.

    –Harry

  3. Technorotic Says:

    Verizon may be the largest wireless company in the U.S., but it doesn’t have a killer phone. That may be one of the reasons it decided to join forces with Google to create some brand new additions for the Android armada.

  4. dev Says:

    I currently with Verizon and do not want a phone that relies on Google for it’s OS and automatically connects to the Internet whenever it feels like it. iPhone is some tough competition. They need something with the mercury switch or whatever it is they are using that detects motion.

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