With hopes they have finally created a blockbuster device to rival Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone, Motorola and Verizon are preparing the introduction of the hotly anticipated Google Android phone sometime next week, say three industry analysts who asked not to be named for this story.
This revelation follows the recent Federal lab approval of the phone, and it clears the way for Verizon to start selling the phone during the all-important holiday season.
The Motorola Android phone -- nicknamed Sholes and Tao at various points in its development -- will include a big touchscreen, slide-out keyboard, assisted-GPS and WiFi, according to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission.Verizon is looking for a strong Christmas performance from Motorola's Android phone as well as big numbers from Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerries. The Motorola Android and the second version of the BlackBerry Storm are expected to be Verizon's prime focus at the high end of its smartphone offerings. Verizon representatives did not reply when asked for comments on this story. A Motorola representative declined to comment but added that the company has previously said it would make an announcement in the coming weeks. Given the two new offerings ahead, and the lackluster demand for Palm's (PALM) Pre phone, Verizon has decided to limit its support for the Pre phone, which was expected to be available in January as TheStreet reported last week.
Verizon's new Google phone debut would come just weeks after Deutsche Telekom's (DT) T-Mobile, and Motorola unveiled the Android-powered Cliq phone. Noticeably absent at a GigaOM event was No. 1 wireless shop Verizon. A Verizon rep at the time said: "stay tuned."