The U.S.’s second largest wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless, has announced plans to carry devices using the upcoming Google-backed Android software platform.
This leaves AT&T as the only nationwide U.S. carrier that has not announced support for the new operating system announced early last month by the Open Handset Alliance. T-Mobile and Sprint-Nextel are both members of the OHA.
Verizon did not outline a timetable on its plans for Android, but no production devices featuring the new platform are expected before the middle of 2008. Among the manufacturers planning Android-based units is HTC, which builds the device sold by Verizon as the XV6800.
Verizon Wireless has recently been on a campaign to overcome its image of a provider with heavily crippled and walled-off services, announcing that it would adopt an "open access" policy, allowing non-Verizon branded devices onto its network, though these devices would still have to be Verizon tested and approved.
It’s unclear what part acceptance of Android plays in this plan, particularly since critics have noted that Verizon’s "open access" policy is as yet untested, and the Android platform does allow for producing locked-down phones.
More About Android
Android is being put together by the Open Handset Alliance, a collection of 30+ companies led by Google but also including Intel, TI, Sprint, T-Mobile, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and Wind River.
This group is putting the finishing touches on this platform, which will consist of a Linux-based operating system, middleware, and key mobile applications. Many of these are likely to tie into Google’s services, like Gmail and Google Maps.
Because this platform will be open source, the Alliance hopes it will be quickly extended to incorporate new technologies as they emerge.
In addition, it will be open to third-parties to create applications using Java.
- Google Announces Android, an Open Source Operating System for Smartphones
- HTC Commits to Multiple Android Smartphones Next Year
- Verizon Opening its Wireless Network to ‘Any Apps, Any Device’