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The move could lessen the need for Google to bid in the upcoming wireless airwaves auction, said Banc of America analyst David Barden, who also noted that Google was developing its own mobile phone software.
"In this instance, we see Google's wide partnerships, and now the ability to put a future Google-powered device on the Verizon network, as diluting any economic incentive for Google to be a substantial spectrum auction competitor," Barden said in a note to clients.
Verizon Wireless said it sees the move as another option for customers, rather than a change to its business model. While the company said it would be accountable for network quality, customers would need to take any questions about software from unaffiliated suppliers to those suppliers.
The wireless carrier said devices would be tested and approved in a laboratory which received additional investment of $20 million this year in anticipation of increasing demand.
Fletcher Cook, a spokesman for AT&T Inc, did not say whether the No. 1 U.S. mobile service would follow suit. He said the company already has a robust line-up of devices and software.
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