Google In Talks With Verizon About Putting Its Software On Their Phones?

Google’s not answering any questions, and Verizon is being all coy about it, but anonymous sources have told the press that the two companies are in talks right now over installing Google apps on Verizon phones—an interesting idea, though not quite as dramatic as installing the full-fledged phone operating system that Google has supposedly been working on for a while now. The big questions (for consumers) are: will Google apps help subsidize the cost of phones or plans, or will Verizon just invent new inefficiencies to justify swallowing any new revenue? And will Google applications mean ads before making calls or sending an email? Also, Google already has some great (and totally free) applications out there for mobile devices—so what could they be offering through Verizon that’s so special?

The Wall Street Journal says Google will announce its general phone plans for 2008 sometime in the middle of November, which we hope will clear things up. In the meantime, someone at Google should maybe remind the others that talking about business opportunities with a U.S. cell phone carrier doesn’t quite fall into the “do no evil” category.

“Google in talks with Verizon Wireless: sources” [Reuters]

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  1. Buran says:

    Google has good products but as long as they bundle their crap with Verizon, forget it.

  2. b612markt says:

    I’m a faithful Verizon customer. I use Gmail with my mobile phone, but google calendar doesn’t work with my regular wap browser. If they could bring that to my phone, I’d be filled with glee!

  3. visualbowler says:

    @Buran:

    its far better than bundling it with AT&T who has bad service everywhere and has tons of interference with their phone

  4. bohemian says:

    Having built in google apps would be great. Verizon goes to great lengths to make sure you can’t modify your phone. If they started selling phones with a compatible data cable that would be nice too.
    I think Verizon’s deal will be to try to force users to use Vcast to connect to the internet so they can charge you $9.99 for using the built in web browser and cell coverage you already have.
    My guess is that they will make it harder to change the settings in the phone’s web browser to skip the vcast home page.
    Now if they made a phone that had built in google apps and an unlocked wifi option you didn’t have to pay extra for that would be great.
    I thought the Tmobile wifi capable phones were a great deal until I saw you have to pay extra each month and can only use Tmobile hotspots.

  5. eheynowg says:

    @bohemian: This is a little off-topic but the T-Mobile wifi option is actually a great deal. For 9 bucks a month, you get UNLIMITED wifi calling. You do NOT need to us a t-mobile hotspot. You can use your own home router or get one from t-mobile that will help optimize your battery life, or connect to any other open wifi network. It’s unfortunate that they only offer this on certain phones.

  6. aparsons says:

    I bet verizon charges extra for the google apps.

    @Bohemian: I hacked my LG phone to route through a proxy… so verizon has a) no idea about my internet usage and b) can’t bill me for it.

    Just search for “free wap + verizon” on google.

  7. Tush says:

    Yeah, I doubt that Verizon is going to give their customers any freedom. This is America, not the rest of the world.

  8. rooben says:

    hold on there folks…

    currently, google mobile apps are not compatible with verizon phones, like mobile email, calendar, etc…if you try to download, if you have VZ, it won’t work. Others, like AT&T, T-Mobile, etc are currently compatible.

    Maybe this is just getting Verizon on the list, so that subscribers can download and use the free google mobile apps that other carriers already have…Not some type of bundling or new for-charge service, just fixing whatever incompatibilities there are…that would explain why its not being announced in a big way; when users want to download the mobile email app that google provides other carriers, now, they will be able to (instead of using WAP gmail).

  9. INconsumer says:

    Q. hey what kind of phone does a turtle use?

    A. a shell-phone! lol. corny i know.

  10. Mr. Gunn says:

    See, if they just used the Symbian OS on their phones like the Nokia phones ATT sells, then they wouldn’t have to mess around with their network and make special deals and could just let people use the mobile apps of their choice, and their users could have had Google Apps on their phones for the past couple of years now.

    Seriously, is the ringtones market so huge that it outweighs the benefits of an open platform and increased customer satisfaction?