announced an agreement that will bring Android phones to Verizon. Verizon, which has been trying to position itself as the 'open carrier,' will start to offer its first two Android phones within the next few weeks. In a clear jab against Apple, Verizon also announced that it will support Google Voice on these devices. Verizon also has no plans to make any changes to the Android Market.This morning, Google and Verizon
Last month, Sprint also announced that it will offer Android devices in the near future, leaving AT&T as the only major wireless company in the US that doesn't offer an Android handset - though AT&T, of course, still holds the exclusive rights to the iPhone.
Microsoft also announced the launch of the first set of Windows Mobile 6.5 devices today and chances are that the Google/Verizon announcement was timed to coincide with this release. The first reviews of Windows Mobile 6.5 are not exactly positive, however.
Taking on Apple
There can be no doubt that this partnership is aimed directly at Apple. Just a few days ago, Verizon launched a new advertising campaign that highlights the company's 3G network and spoofs Apple's "there's an app for that" campaign. While Verizon was always known for the quality of its network, though, it was never known for offering cutting-edge handsets - something that could now change.
During a teleconference after the announcement, both Verizon and Google stressed the fact that they want the phones to remain open. Apple, of course, makes no such promises and has regularly landed in hot water when it didn't allow certain apps like the Google Voice app into its store.
Big News for Android Developers
Android developers will surely be happy about this announcement. Verizon, after all, will bring millions of new customers to the Android platform and given that the company has no plans to make any changes to the Android Market, this will open up a large new market for Android apps. In this morning's teleconference, Verizon also noted that it will pre-load devices with applications from Google as well as third-party developers.