Thu, Jun 25, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Verizon may sell Android handsets

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Verizon Wireless, the largest US mobile-phone carrier, may sell phones based on Google Inc’s Android operating system in time for the year-end holiday shopping season, a person familiar with the plan said.

The phones, one made by Motorola Inc and one by HTC Corp (宏達電), don’t have prices yet, the source said. The handsets will probably have touch screens and physical keyboards, said the source, who declined to be identified because the plans aren’t finalized.

Verizon joins Japan’s NTT DoCoMo Inc and Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile units in offering Android smart phones as operators look to the Internet-capable devices to boost revenue. Google is pitting its platform, first released on handsets in October, against Microsoft Corp’s Windows Mobile operating system, and Apple Inc’s iPhone and Research in Motion Ltd’s BlackBerry, which run on the makers’ proprietary software.

Brenda Raney, a Verizon spokeswoman, declined to comment. Carolyn Wu, Motorola’s director of communications for Asia, confirmed the company plans to ship Android-based phones this year, while declining to comment on whether it will supply Verizon. Taoyuan-based HTC declined to comment on the company’s relationship with operators.

HTC, maker of the first Android phone released through T-Mobile USA Inc, will offer MyTouch, its second Google model, through the same carrier next month and an Android handset in China this month. The company also plans to release three new Windows-based phones this quarter, it said April 30.

Google expects at least 18 Android phones to be introduced by the end of the year, the company said. Acer Inc (宏碁), Samsung Electronics Co and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) have also said they plan to offer Android handsets.

AT&T Inc, the exclusive carrier of Apple’s iPhone, attracted more than double the amount of smart-phone users than its nearest rival, accounting for 46.9 percent of all advanced, Internet-capable handsets at the end of March, researcher ComScore Inc said. Verizon was second during the period with a 20 percent share.

IPhone users spend about 60 percent more on subscriptions than other AT&T customers, the company has said. Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), Taiwan’s largest phone operator, said on April 29 its iPhone customers spend around 20 percent more per month than subscribers with different handsets.

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