No, this is not a slam on the iPhone, or Apple. I am a fan of both; if there was a way to get a an iPhone with support, I’d have one.

Unfortunately, Mr. Jobs screwed the pooch on his choice of providers to align with, as AT&T has been, and perhaps always will be, the absolute dregs when it comes to support and quality of service. Only Sprint keeps them from perpetually being on the bottom of the barrel – they switch back and forth. It shows that Steve Jobs is an excellent judge of many things, but not infallible.

What the title refers to is the news that Google and Verizon have gotten over any squabbles from the past, and will be working together to innovate for the mobile spaces. This is outlandishly good news, as the options of Android, coupled with the superior technology of CDMA, and the network density of Verizon, will likely soon remove any pangs of envy about the iPhone.

Google (GOOG) and Verizon Wireless (VZ) have evidently gotten over their 700-MHz spectrum auction-inspired differences. This morning the two companies announced an agreement to deliver mobile applications and devices. Under its terms, the companies will develop several Android-based devices that will be pre-loaded with apps designed by Google, Verizon and others.

“Integral to this agreement is a commitment by the companies to devote substantial resources to accelerate delivery of leading-edge innovation that will put unique applications in the hands of consumers quickly,” the companies said in a joint release. “The two industry leaders will create, market and distribute products and services, with Verizon Wireless also contributing the breadth of its nationwide distribution channels. Consumers will be able to purchase products resulting from the collaboration in Verizon Wireless retail and online stores.”

The first new phones are expected at market within weeks. Two will be released before the end of the year and they will, according to Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam, support Google Voice. They’ll also come with Google’s Android Market pre-installed. So Verizon is not favoring its own app store here. There will apparently be netbooks as well, though the companies haven’t yet said when.

The deal is potentially a big one for Google. Verizon serves some 87 million customers. Putting some slick Android phones in front of them could do much to bolster Google’s standing in the wireless market.

above from AllThingsD

Not to mention how much it would do for Verizon. I can see a shift in customer base much like the one that took place back in 2000, when Verizon was formed, and, as the manager of a Radio Shack, I was signing customers to Verizon contracts, and moving them away from AT&T almost as fast as I could write. There truly were times when I could watch people in the mall go return their phones to the AT&T kiosk, and then come to me, saying “Give me those phones, and the plan we talked about.”  As I was doing the contract, I would get them to talk about the problems had with AT&T, and they were many. It seems they have not changed much.

More evidence that AT&T is having problems is a story of the company using the Opera compression engine, to do server side compression for data transfers – a great idea, but most likely too little too late.


Opera, the fastest and most secure web browser