updated 02:20 pm EDT, Wed October 31, 2007
Verizon Talks to Google
Sprint and Verizon are also in talks with Google to use the latter's upcoming mobile platform, according to purported sources speaking to Reuters. The discussions are said to include bringing Google's mobile apps to Sprint phones as well as incorporating Google technology and ad-sponsored services into Verizon's cellphones. Verizon chief operating officer Denny Strigl declined comment other than to say that his company routinely discussed deals with other companies, which included Google.
The claim was unclear as to whether either Sprint Verizon would fully embrace the reported Google mobile platform, which would include an open-source OS and let developers easily write new programs without requiring approval from a carrier. Verizon already offers a mobile YouTube service but has regularly been held up as an example of the strict control providers exercise over allowed software, often insisting on a customized interface and stripping out access to hardware features such as using a phone as a Bluetooth data modem.
Sprint is less directly involved with Google at present but has already pledged to supply Google utilities for future WiMAX devices, which should be available when the Sprint-run 4G Internet service (dubbed Xohm) goes live next year.
If one or both cellular providers confirm use of the full Google operating system, the expected announcement of the platform within the next two weeks will reflect majority support for the concept of open software development for cellphones in the US, as T-Mobile is already reported to be interested in the project. Alltel and AT&T have not been mentioned in these reports, though the latter may allow wider app development through Apple's iPhone.