Google and Verizon will partner on a line of smartphones and software running the search giant’s Android OS and served by the carrier. Verizon is the largest-yet wireless network to back Google, and the announcement could complicate what was once a simple smartphone rivalry between Apple and BlackBerry, BusinessWeek reports. Analysts expect a handful of Android phones by the likes of Motorola and Samsung by month’s end.
Incredibly, analysts believe up to 30 devices could debut by the end of the year, and some think Verizon will push the phones ahead of BlackBerrys and others. One selling point for buyers is Google’s app store, Android Market. Though there are now only a rather anemic 10,000 applications—Apple has 85,000—with Verizon’s 87.7 million users that number could skyrocket. Verizon’s gamesmanship with Apple—it has sought to carry the iPhone—is not lost on watchers. The move reads “We are not desperate,” one says.