Google is set to work more closely with mobile phone operator Verizon Wireless to "deliver greater innovation in the mobile space to consumers across the US" according to a joint statement issued by both companies.
Verizon Wireless is the biggest mobile phone network in the US and is the latest one that Google has signed with US operators; these have included Sprint Nextel Corp and T-Mobile USA. AT&T which sells the iPhone is the only major one that has yet to partner with Google.
The strategic alliance is likely to produce what both companies call "leading-edge mobile applications, services and devices" within a matter of weeks. More specifically, several Android handsets will be released by the end of the year.
Google is already collaborating closely with another major mobile phone network, T-Mobile UK, with the HTC Hero and Magic launched over the past 12 months.
It is not known whether Verizon Wireless will be white-labelling the phones (i.e. produced by a third party) or whether, like T-Mobile, a third party like Samsung or HTC will be producing the devices.
Verizon Wireless claims that it has a much better network coverage compared to its arch-rival and number two network, AT&T. It went as far as producing an advert that parodies Apple's "there's an app for that", replacing it by "there's a map for that".
An Android mobile phone from Verizon Wireless is likely to be the answer. Verizon Wireless is partly owned by Vodafone, an operator which is known for its aggressive white labelling of smartphones by third parties like HTC or ZTE.