VZW unleashes device offensive

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VOD, NYSE:VZ) is taking on AT&T (NYSE:T), cable companies and anyone else that might stand in its way in a series of confirmed and rumored announcements today. Most notable has been the bevy of device announcements coming from VZW and others that suggest the carrier fully intends to become a smartphone force to be reckoned with.

VZW “confirmed” via Twitter that it would offer the Palm Pre early next year. There hasn’t been an official press release from either Palm or VZW, but in answer to a question posted in a Tweet, VZWoffers – the company’s official Twitter feed for special offers - replied, “We will be carrying the Palm Pre smart phone early next year.”

The most buzz, however, has been around VZW’s plans to offer Motorola’s second Android smartphone, Droid, sometime before the end of the year. While the phone’s specs are only speculation (but with pictures), VZW has released a commercial (below) not-so-subtly taking aim at every shortcoming on Apple’s iPhone and AT&T’s network. The Motorola Droid boasts a physical keyboard and touch screen, as well as the ability to run multiple apps, support video recording and a widget interface.

Given VZW’s blatant attack on AT&T, one might assume the iPhone won’t make its way to AT&T’s biggest competitor anytime soon, but the rumors of a VWZ iPhone aren’t quieting down either. According to FoneFrenzy, VZW is in the midst of testing a multi-mode chipset intended for its own iPhone on its long-term evolution network. The Qualcomm-designed chipset will let VZW offer devices that run on both its EV-DO and LTE network, but even Qualcomm has admitted that its multi-mode LTE handsets won’t come online until 2011.While Motorola holds the responsibility for backing up its claim of developing a “super-genius in your pocket” and “greatest web experience on a phone” with Droid, VZW has no small task in front of it either. Its network hasn’t gotten as much flack as AT&T’s, but it also isn’t the first name that comes to mind for fancy smartphones. The carrier has promised more information – at least on Droid – soon, as well as the fast-approaching rumored launch of the BlackBerry’s Storm 2. Hopefully it will confirm some of the rampant rumors as well…It’s going to be a busy fourth quarter.

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