Verizon and GoogleVerizon Wireless and Google announced today they are developing a range of devices including, but not limited to, handsets in a new joint venture sure to ruffle a few telecoms feathers. Focussing totally on Android this is a major boost for the OS which just celebrated its first birthday. Verizon and Google have promised services too, and stress this brings a range of new products including feature phones, netbooks and other mobile devices. Two of these new smartphones are expected to be announced in the next two weeks.

"The Android platform allows Verizon Wireless customers to experience faster and easier access to the Web from any location," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt, in a statement. "Through this partnership, we hope to deliver greater innovation in the mobile space to consumers across the United States."

Googles Eric Schmidt said that Google's partnership with Verizon was a significant development for the Android platform as it would give Android users access to what he described as the top wireless data network in the U.S.

"From the standpoint of working with Verizon, we had known of their reach, but we did not know that they would take a leadership position on openness," Schmidt said. "It has been surprising, but they have decided to embrace a different philosophy that's more compatible with the Internet."



Verizons McAdam also said that they would support Google Voice on its Android handsets once they were officially released later this year. - seen as a dig at Apple, who ban any 3rd party applications which "duplicate or supplant core functionality".

With the announcement, Verizon has officially become the third major U.S. wireless carrier to support devices based on the Android operating system, as both Sprint and T-Mobile have also started putting Android devices on the market.

Although no official handset has been announced it is widely speculated that the upcoming devices are to be manufactured by Motorola, which is releasing several new Android devices as a part of its ongoing turnaround effort.

Verizon has been widely criticized for having what analysts see as a lackluster smartphone lineup, but the company seems to be determined to shake off this image with this announcement.