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Verizon signs up for Android

Oct 6, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

[Updated: 4PM] — Verizon Wireless has signed a deal with Google to co-develop two Android smartphones, says eWEEK. In other Android developments, further rumors about a Motorola Sholes phone heading for Verizon have emerged, an HTC “Dragon” phone using Qualcomm's Snapdragon was tipped, and Google announced improved “AdSense” advertising for smartphones.

A day after T-Mobile and Samsung announced their fourth and second Android phones, respectively, yesterday with the Behold II (pictured below, right), Verizon Wireless and Google have now announced a joint partnership to develop Android phones. The Verizon-branded phones, at least one of which will be announced in the coming weeks, will be pre-loaded with applications from Google, Verizon Wireless, and third-party developers, says a Clint Boulton story in eWEEK.

The agreement is the first clear sign that not one, but two Verizon Android phones should be available as a stocking stuffer. The announcement calls for two Android phones by the holidays, as well as additional Android-based PDAs, netbooks and other devices marketed and sold by Verizon Wireless to arrive next year.

Although company executives stated earlier this year that an Android model was in their plans, the wireless carrier has made similar statements about support for the Palm Pre and LiMo (Linux Mobile) phones, but so far no firm announcements have emerged regarding any of these Linux-based mobile platforms. One recent rumor even suggested Verizon Wireless was backing away from the Pre.

The finicky carrier's indecision about Android may have stemmed from Verizon's unhappiness with Google after the search giant bid on class C wireless spectrum, driving up its price for the phone carrier, writes Boulton. The carrier was further irked by Google's successful lobbying of the Federal Conmunications Commission (FCC) to order that the auction winner must enable open access for devices and applications on the spectrum, says the story. Now, however, both companies appear to be setting aside their differences to take on the AT&T/Apple iPhone junta, says the story.

Sholes update: The Tao of Moto

Verizon Wireless did not mention handset vendors in its Android announcement, writes Boulton, who speculates HTC as a possibility. If so, according to recent rumors, Verizon may turn to Motorola's second expected Android phone, the Sholes, for its second Android phone. Last month, the struggling handset vendor announced its first Android phone, the Motorola Cliq, which is destined for T-Mobile's network. According to various reports, the Sholes is expected to offer similar high-end smartphone features as the Cliq, but provide a larger 3.7-inch display with higher 854 x 480 resolution.

Now, the Android Guys are claiming they have further confirmation of the Sholes, including the image pictured at left. The phone now appears to be called the "Tao," says the site, and will be launched by Verizon Wireless on Dec. 1.

The Tao's specs match up nicely with what the site had previously reported about the Sholes. Specifics include the above-mentioned display specs, as well as a Texas Instruments OMAP3430 system-on-chip (SoC), five-megapixel camera, and Android 2.0 ("Eclair"). Since the initial report last week, the site has removed the specs in deference to embargoes, but appears to be standing by the story.

HTC Dragon to run Qualcomm's Snapdragon?

HTC, meanwhile, may also end up supplying Verizon with an Android phone. Most recently, it spun two devices that for the first time offered its own branding: the Sprint-destined HTC Hero and the scaled-down HTC Tattoo, both of which layer HTC's Sense UI atop Android.

Now, Android blog site DroidDog is claiming to have received a few specs and screenshots from what it claims is a new Android phone called the HTC Dragon.

HTC today announced a Windows Mobile 6.5-based "HD2" phone which runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, which  suggests that the Dragon may run the same processor. The HD2 offers the HTC Sense UI, which has previously only been available on Android phones.

Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon is equipped with an ARM-based "Scorpion" core with 128-bit SIMD (single instruction multiple data) capability, plus a 600MHz low-power, "low-leakage" DSP. The SoC is primarily aimed at smartphones, but is expected to be released this fall in a variety of "smartbooks" — small netbooks and/or large mobile Internet devices that run Linux, Android, and Windows CE.

Google spins AdSense for smartphones

According to a recent report from AdMob, Android and the Palm Pre are the fastest growing smartphone platforms in mobile data traffic, as indicated by mobile advertising figures. Smartphone advertising could prove even more compelling and lucrative with Google's announcement that it is optimizing its AdSense for Mobile mobile ad platform with a feature that better renders ads on modern smartphones like the Apple iPhone, Palm Pre, and of course, Android phones, according to another Clint Boulton story in eWEEK.

The device-optimized mobile ads will leverage the full HTML browsers found on high-end smartphones to load faster and fit better on small screens, says the story. The feature is enabled by JavaScript code optimized to reduce latency on high-end phones, as well as to allow publishers to select more ad unit sizes from common AdSense formats, writes Boulton.


Clint Boulton's eWEEK story on the Verizon Wireless Android deal may be found here, and his story on the Google AdSense announcement should be here.

The Android Guys story on the Motorola "Tao" phone may be found here.

The DroidDog story on the HTC Dragon may be found here.

For more information on the HTC HD2, which the manufacturer is touting as its "most advanced phone ever," see the coverage on our sister site,, here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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