Verizon Wireless to carry Android, Pre phones

May 28, 2009 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Verizon Wireless will introduce phones based on Google Inc.'s Android software "in the near future," its chief executive said Thursday.

So far, only T-Mobile USA has introduced an phone in the U.S. Several manufacturers are making phones with the software, including Co. and Motorola Inc.

Previously, Verizon Wireless has been noncommittal to Android.

"Conspiracy theorists ... said that we would never do anything with , but we have had some very good dialogue with Google," Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam told an investor conference in New York, according to a transcript. "We like what we see and we will, in fact, be bringing Android devices to the marketplace in the near future."

McAdam also said that the country's largest cellular carrier will carry the Pre, an eagerly awaited new phone from Palm Inc., within six months.

However, McAdam may have misspoken: Corp. spokesman James Fisher said Sprint will be the exclusive carrier for the Pre at least until the end of the year. It was the first time Sprint confirmed the minimum length of the exclusivity period.

The Pre goes on sale June 6, and is seen as a chance for Palm to revitalize a line that has been losing out to Apple Inc.'s iPhone and BlackBerrys from Ltd. The phone features a touch screen, a slide-out keyboard and a new operating system, WebOS. Sprint, which has been losing subscribers, also needs a hit device.

McAdam added that Verizon Wireless will launch within six months a previously unknown Palm device, a "cousin" to the Pre. Palm has said it is making WebOS the basis for an entire new line.

The Verizon Wireless CEO complimented Motorola, which is struggling to turn around shrinking phone sales.

"You'll see Motorola back into our portfolio. We feel very good about the progress that the team has made," McAdam said.

is a joint venture of Vodafone Group PLC of Britain and Verizon Communications Inc. of New York.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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