Verizon and Google form strategic Android partnership

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We’ve seen a few different Android devices that seem to be VZW-bound over the last few weeks, but Verizon hasn’t said anything about the handsets or platform until now. The company has a webcast scheduled for later today but released a preemptive press release that outlines the basics.

Verizon and Google have formed a strategic partnership that will “leverage the Verizon Wireless network and the best of the Android open platform to deliver leading-edge mobile applications, services and devices.” Apparently the new dream team has plans that involve co-developing several Android-based devices that will come pre-loaded with innovative applications from not only Verizon, but also 3rd-party developers.

These devices are set to come from multiple manufacturers according to the press release, which is kind of in line with has been leaking out lately. First there is the slider Motorola Tao/Sholes, which is rumored to drop on December 1st. We’ve already seen a bunch of spy shots a even a leaked list of specs that seem to indicate that this might be a killer Android device. And then there is the HTC Desire that was recently approved by the FCC and Wi-Fi Alliance but Verizon hasn’t made either one of these phones official just yet.

We would love to see even one more Android handset launch within the coming months on Verizon. The Internet has long seem to agree that everyone loves the vast Verizon 3G network, but it doesn’t have any must-have devices like the iPhone, Palm Pre, or any Android phone and therefore is less desirable. Verizon seems set to change that real soon and we’ll likely find out more details later today at the webcast.

GROUNDBREAKING AGREEMENT BETWEEN VERIZON WIRELESS AND GOOGLE TO LEVERAGE HIGH-SPEED NETWORK AND OPEN ANDROID PLATFORM FOR WIRELESS INNOVATION

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Verizon Wireless and Google™ today announced a strategic partnership that will leverage the Verizon Wireless network and the best of the Android™ open platform to deliver leading-edge mobile applications, services and devices. Both companies view this agreement as an opportunity to offer consumers an array of products that combine the speed of the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G network with the flexibility of the Android mobile platform.

Integral to this agreement is a commitment by the companies to devote substantial resources to accelerate delivery of leading-edge innovation that will put unique applications in the hands of consumers quickly. The two industry leaders will create, market and distribute products and services, with Verizon Wireless also contributing the breadth of its nationwide distribution channels. Consumers will be able to purchase products resulting from the collaboration in Verizon Wireless retail and online stores.

Verizon Wireless and Google plan to co-develop several Android-based devices that will be pre-loaded with innovative applications from both parties as well as third-party developers. The family of Android phones on the Verizon Wireless network will come from leading handset manufacturers.

“The nation’s best wireless broadband network is a perfect complement to the innovation of Android-powered services and devices,” said Lowell McAdam, chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless. “Together, we’ll work to deliver a compelling new experience to our customers.”

“The Android platform allows Verizon Wireless customers to experience faster and easier access to the web from any location,” said Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive officer for Google. “Through this partnership, we hope to deliver greater innovation in the mobile space to consumers across the U.S.”

The agreement will come to fruition within the next few weeks as Verizon Wireless introduces Android-based handsets.

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