Calling it a "groundbreaking agreement," Verizon Wireless
announced today that
they would work together to produce mobile devices based on the search giant's
Android platform. Certainly the deal is a breakthrough for Google, considering
Verizon serves more than 87 million customers and is the biggest service provider
yet to join forces with the company. For Verizon Wireless, the move could be
seen as the company's latest attempt to compete against the Apple iPhone
During a conference call, Google Chief Executive Eric
Schmidt and Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said they began talking about a
partnership about a year and a half ago. Before sealing the deal, Google wanted
Verizon's commitment to open source platforms. To illustrate its commitment to
openness, McAdam said Verizon would support Google's Google Voice phone
Under the partnership, Verizon Wireless and Google plan to
co-develop several handsets based on the Android
platform that will
come preloaded with their own applications and applications from third parties.
The new Android phones will have 10,000 or more applications available.
Verizon Wireless and Google plan to close the deal in the next
few weeks with Verizon Wireless announcing some Android-based handsets at that
time. Both companies said they will devote "substantial resources" to
the venture. Leading handset manufacturers will supply the devices.