Apr 16 AT 3:29 PM Taylor Wimberly 23 Comments

Verizon Android Phone Recap

When Google first unveiled the Android platform along with the Open Handset Alliance, there were two notable carriers absent:  AT&T and Verizon.  With the recent talk of extending their iPhone exclusivity, it could be years before Android ever makes its way onto AT&T.  However, Verizon has begun to warm to an open source mobile platform.  Last year they joined the Linux Mobile Foundation(LiMo) and some experts think Verizon will be the second US carrier to launch an Android device.

Back in 2007, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said it made sense to get behind Android. “We’re planning on using Android,” McAdam told BusinessWeek. “Android is an enabler of what we do.”  Since then, Verizon has shown a fear of Google’s intentions and been reluctant to jump on the Android bandwagon.  Without a killer consumer smartphone, they may soon be forced into submission in order to compete with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.


Verizon’s network runs on the same CDMA technology as Sprint.  If manufacturers like Samsung are already making Android devices for CDMA, it would be easy to bring them over to Verizon.  Starting in late 2009, Verizon will begin to roll out its 4G networking which uses Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

LTE has become a global standard and many of the OHA members are working with the technology including Motorola, Ericson, LG, and NTT docomo.  It would make sense if a manufacturer like Motorola or Fujitsu releases a LTE device that it would find its way to Verizon.

Verizon claims to have the nation's largest 3G network.

Verizon claims to have the nation's largest 3G network.

Data Plans

The minute plans offered by Verizon Wireless are comparable to T-Mobile and Sprint.  However, their data and text options appear to be more expensive than the rest.  Verizon does not offer an unlimited text plan, but does have several tiers to choose from:

  • $5/month – 250 messages
  • $10/month – 500 messages PLUS unlimited in network texting
  • $15/month – 1500 messages PLUS unlimited in networking texting
  • $20/month – 5000 messages PLUS unlimited in networking texting

For data plans we have two options:

  • $29.99/month – Email and web for smartphone
  • $44.99/month – Unlimited data usage

I’m not sure of the differences in the data plans, but even the cheapest data plan and 500 messages is more than T-Mobile or Sprint.  Hopefully we will see new packaged deals that are more competitive with the competition.

Update from reader Steve:  “The first (lesser) of the two is the basic plan required to use any phone that sends pix/flix messages and uses e-mail (including Blackberry). The unlimited data plan is for corporate users who require a constant connection for a smartphone. For example, one who uses an Exchange server with direct push, would need an unlimited data plan.

Possible Phones

There are many possible hardware partners for Verizon but the most likely are HTC, LG, Samsung, Motorola, and Acer.  We know Samsung is making a CDMA phone for Sprint and I believe they are most likely to release a phone for Verizon first.  HTC is currently making GSM/Edge phones for Android and a CDMA phone is most likely a long shot at this time.  LG and Motorola have not revealed their Android phones, but more details should be leaking over the next few months.

Acer announced a new smartphone lineup at the recent Mobile World Congress and is experimenting with Android on desktop PCs.  They also hinted at a netbook coming to Verizon, but it is unlikely to run Android.  Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci said, “For a Netbook, you really need to be able to view a full Web for the total Internet experience,” Wong said. “And Android is not that yet.”

New Acer phone running Windows Mobile, but Android is on the way.

New Acer F900 phone running Windows Mobile, but Android is on the way.

Release Date/Conclusion

With their recent acquisition of Alltel Wireless, Verizon solidified their position as the largest United States wireless carrier.  Since they are number one in subscribers, they are taking a wait and see approach with Android.  T-Mobile took a gamble on Android hoping to gain market share and it looks like their decision is paying off.  Unless Verizon tries to beat Sprint to the punch, I would not expect any Android devices from them until 2010.

If you are a current Verizon subscribers, what are your thoughts about Android coming to your carrier?  Are you content to wait another year?  Would you purchase an Android netbook from Verizon?

Can you hear us now?  We want Android.

Can you hear us now? We want Android.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • jon

    I want MY Android phone for Verizon. I am actually about to cancel Verizon and go to T-Mobile just to get a G1.
    They are pretty stupid firstly for passing up the iPhone, and now they are fighting the introduction of any Android Phone…are they trying to lose out completely on the smart phone market?

    • Alisa (Chicago)

      If I were you, I would hold off on purchasing a G1. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE fan of Android and I really do love my G1 phone, however this first generation output has a bug that is in my opinion…NOT ACCEPTABLE. The battery life is great in an inactive state, however, once you get started on the web and playing with all those cool gadgets on the Android market, the battery starts draining…FAST.

      Another problem is that the phone just blanks out and the only way to get is started back up is to pop off the back cover and take out the battery. This is no isolated flaw….just check the T-Mobile website under “Forums”. You will see a myriad of complaints about this same issue. I left Verizon for T-Mobile and I seriously regret it. Verizon may have their issues, but they do have a great network for which T-Mobile can’t hold a candle to.

      If I were you, I’d stick w/Verizon until they do open up to the Android world. By then, you may have a phone and a network that you can actually depend on. I wish I did.

      Good luck!!

    • eadrian75

      I’m on the same boat. I love Verizon coverage, but their phone line-up is always last in line; I too am on the verge of switching to T-Mobile or Sprint. I’m growing impatient waiting for Verizon to get to the cutting edge of this industry.

    • Brandon

      I have verizon and i have an unlimited texting plan so i dont know what they are talking about when they say verizon doesnt offer an unlimited texting plan because thats what i have…i used to have just unlimited in texting but i changed it to strictly unlimited texting last year.

  • http://danglinginvective.blogspot.com Mark

    I left Verizon so I could get on board with android. Frankly, I was going to leave big red anyway. VZW insists on crippling most features on regular phones, demanding handset manufacturers drive users to Verizon’s own, costlier, solutions for ringtones, etc.

    I think the inherent openness of Android conflicts with Verizon’s business model. And damn, they’re data plans are killer expensive.

    One thing I do miss is their network. As annoying as their advertising is, it’s true. I didn’t have a dropped call on VZW since sometime in 2001 or so. And EV-DO is fast. I’m reserving judgment on T-Mo until 3G comes to my area, but so far I’m unimpressed with their network. (But T-Mo has been VERY honest about their coverage, so that’s a plus.)

    I’d move to Sprint or even off of Android all together before I went back to Verizon.

  • http://TeddJohnson.org Tedd Johnson

    Firstly, Verizon does have unlimited texting. they just don’t advertise it well. It’s called the “select plan” and it costs $20 more than the “basic plan” with all the other same features.

    Secondly, Android is almost reason enough for me to leave Verizon. if Sprint had the HTC TouchPro with android on it, I would ditch verizon in a heart-beat. the only reason I haven’t is 1) I don’t like the G1, and 2) T-Mobile’s coverage sucks.

    Sprint has decent coverage, as well a significantly better price for it’s plans. Verizon had better get on the Android bandwagon soon, or I’m sure they’ll be losing quite a few customers once Sprint rolls out with Android.

  • Carl

    +1 to about everything Mark said. I was with Verizon for like about forever, but bailed to be an early adopter of the G1 on T-Mo, and haven’t looked back. I would never go back to VZW. Their data and texting costs are way too high.

    And yes, VZW cripples the features in their phones, they nickel and dime you for everything, and they plaster the Verizon name every freaking single place they can think of on both the hardware and the software of the phone. — Like I don’t know who my carrier is. It was so annoying that I hacked my Razr to remove most of the company labels from the software.

    The only good thing about Verizon was the coverage was good. But I have found the coverage of T-Mobile to be excellent, and personally I don’t seem to get dropped calls, and I love open source Android and the G1. And they only put T-Mobile in one place on the whole G1 phone, which I don’t have a problem with.

    I wonder if Verizon does eventually come out with a Android phone if they won’t figure out ways to cripple the capabilities — open source and Verizon don’t really fit in the same sentence.

  • Chris

    My contract ends in August, that’s when I will drop Verizon if they do not have an android phone. However, if they have one planned and a set release date by August I will wait up to 2 months, providing my phone lasts.

  • ben

    Bunch of morons!! Really, its like I just can’t have it all no matter how much is makes perfect sense to everyone I hear talk about it. I either get piss poor phone service and a phone I like or I have to settle with my crappy useless crackberry and I can talk wherever I want.

    VERIZON WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!

    And if you are getting good service with T-mobile you need to leave your parents house more often. The cellular tower shadowing your bedroom window is frying your brain.

  • Steve

    “HTC is currently making GSM/Edge phones and a CDMA phone is most likely a long shot.” HUH?! I currently own an HTC Touch Pro from Verizon. Why wouldn’t they also make an android phone for CDMA networks? Get your facts straight.

    “I’m not sure of the differences in the data plans…” How about making a phone call to Verizon? I’m sure they’d tell you. But lucky you, I can help you with that and save you the dime. The first (lesser) of the two is the basic plan required to use any phone that sends pix/flix messages and uses e-mail (including Blackberry). The unlimited data plan is for corporate users who require a constant connection for a smartphone. For example, one who uses an Exchange server with direct push, would need an unlimited data plan.

    As far as who would get Android first between Sprint and Verizon. I would tend to agree with you. Verizon loves to sit there in a “wait and see” mode for extended periods. And the fact that they know they have the most subscribers in the US already means they can afford to wait even longer before shelling out the money to get Android devices and to train their Smartphone support staff on how to use them. Lets not forget, it costs a lot of money to train a network’s worth of support staff on a new OS.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I meant to imply that the current Android phones they have produced (Dream + Magic) are both targeted towards GSM/Edge. I’ve updated the text to clarify that.

      I also have a HTC winmo phone with Verizon in addition to my G1 with T-Mobile.

  • Gammax

    BOO to the V, their plans are are as about as good as my spelling and grammer…

    fyi I cant spell and my grammar is awfull

    • BRain57

      Verizon’s plans are in my opinion very close to most companies. They may be a bit more expensive but I will pay the extra to be with a company that puts on average 1.2 billion dollars a year into building new cell sites and truly is the best data network you can get. Why pay ten dollars less for a data coverage that is no where near Verizon’s. Just my thoughts.

  • Alex

    As a Verizon customer I have craved an awesome, capable phone for quite some time now. I have contemplated switching to ATT for iPhone, yet I would burn through minutes as almost everyone I know is on Verizon. I just wish they would come out with an awesome phone that they just sit back and let the devs (third party included) do their thing.

  • Gene

    If Verizon doesn’t come out with an Android phone by fall of this year, I’m leaving them. I hate to admit that VZW has the best coverage and fastest data speeds around here, but their phones suck. I really don’t understand Verizon and their habit of not putting good phones out there… it took them FOREVER to get the HTC Diamond and Touch Pro and now it seems they won’t have an Android phone until 2010 at the earliest. WHY, Verizon, WHY?

  • http://jopinblog.wordpress.com JohnOpincar

    In Houston, ATT’s call quality is horrible. I was getting dropped calls all the time and I couldn’t hear people sitting in my own house half the time, which is in a major suburb. So I switched to Verizon 2 years ago. Their coverage and call quality has been perfect. However, I too want a decent phone. I can’t consider the iPhone because I will never use ATT/Cingular after my experience. I guess I’m stuck trying T-Mo.

  • Leu

    I’ve been with Alltel since last year. My friend went to T-Mobile and I have been nothing but impressed with his apparent coverage (he hasn’t complained of dead zones) and the G1 he uses.

    I asked the Verizon/Alltel people “when are you getting an Android?” And they looked at me like I was retarded. I don’t want to go to Sprint, and there’s one thing I surely enjoy about being on the Alltel/Verizon network: Practically perfect coverage.

    I want an Android because I am SICK AND F’NG TIRED of cellular operators cutting off the free flow of information, forcing us to purchase stupid f’ng ringtones at outlandish prices.

    I understand that cellphone companies have the need for profit, but there’s a point to where you’re raping your own customers into oblivion. $1 for a ringtone? What the hell?

    And I’ll never understand the point of removing the capabilities of a phone, such as bluetooth transfer, etc. and still charging FULL price for the damned phone. Ok, so I have $200-$300-$400 phone. WOW, I can’t use 70% of the phones capabilities because they want to charge me even more! What a buy!

  • garth

    this is status quo for bell nynex nothing has has changed in 15+ years of operation.
    Verizon has missed so many oppertunites to dominate the market instead they have put the money back into the network and network only.. it was wonderful to see GOOGLE back them into a cornner with the purchase of the UHF band. verizon must offer a small section of the spectrum for public use if the cost went over a certian dollar amount .. it went over and now the public has its own spectrum.
    Now we have Android and the public wants it and Bell Nynex is moving like a stick in the mud to delay and or derail a great phone.
    this leads me to another point . the worlds largest handset maker NOKIA stopped developing sets for the CDMA market because it is a dead end standard. The CEO of NOKIA commented that developement cost for cdma in the US is diportionate to handset share which for cdma is only 20% of the total sale for NOKIA.
    In short Verizon can you see the money dissappear NOW

  • http://makeitnovel.com Phil Schroeder

    I am a Verizon consumer. And while I think Verizon is an evil corporation out to monopolize the mobile market I also know I save money being with them and having their FIOS service. Which gets me a discounted total bill. That being said all the information I’ve read recently about Android coming to Verizon sounds like its pretty much guaranteed. What isn’t is the time table. I, like most, prefer sooner than later. Now I agree with the disparagement about CDMA. CDMA is a dying technology and with the introduction of 4G LTE coming soon maybe CDMA will at last finally become extinct like it has throughout the rest of the world. If this happens I think Verizon will finally solidify itself as THE mobile company, of course than it will probably charge us all a fortune. Anyways being the HUGE fan I am of android I would settle for an Android phone on Verizon’s current network. I’m told that the Verizon is offering two options with Android, get the phone yourself and use our network (spend hundreds on the device and have no guarantee from Verizon) or buy it through us (undoubtedly once they’re done a crippled device will remain) and have our support. Personally I’d be happy to buy a CDMA open Android device and then just use it on my plan. Atleast that way I can use my data the way I want and not how Verizon decrees.

  • DreadPirateZac

    according to the countdown on the web site the release should be November 24th 2009

  • Lazer

    This really angers me. Dont get me wrong, Verizon has GREAT service, and awesome phones, there is one problem. They ALL deteriorate. My dad has an Android, and he has never had any problems with it after 3 months, Ive tried, and loved it. I currently have an LG Voyager, my 2nd. My first got its screen cracked 3 months in, I wasnt even rough on it. My 2nd got its outer screen cracked, that one was my fault. But since then, my interior screen has been absolutely deteriorating in how often it wants to work. My AIM doesnt want to work half the time, and now it wont even CHARGE unless its in the EXACT right spot. Verizon has cool phones and great service, but I REGRET leaving T-Mobile, for Verizon

  • Android wanter

    What is the Verizon android phone anticipated release date?

  • Conrad B. Senior

    I have three phones on a family plan. Only one has a commitment at present. I’m so disgusted with the billing errors I get nearly every month where I am charged with services and features I didn’t order My girl opened her phone to get a phone number in bermuda, never made a call or sent a text–just opened the phone to get a number, and we were billed $30 for a Bermuda sourced call, on whose date and time were we back in the US. I could give you a million other stories–like being billed for data when we have every phone blocked for data. We can no longer send or receive pictures message–part of our text plans because of this. I particularly hate the fact that Verizon phones are crippled and force you to keep features we don’t want like their horrible V-Cast.

    I love their coverage, but where I live the all have good coverage. I can’t stand Verizon deciding what my phone can or cannot do. I’d rather have pay as you go phone on T-Mobile–my second phone I use for traveling Europe also… At least T=Mobile wants my business and doesn’t try to screw me over every month.

    One more thing. Get AT&T and roll-over and up you minutes to a high minute plan for a month or two and then drop it to a low number and you don’t have to worry about going over you minutes. There are lots of companies that treat their customer better than Verizon. Although I hate Sprint even more.