Why the Verizon-Android Deal is Big for Google

Verizon and Google have announced a partnership that could put Google's mobile Android operating system on millions of industry-leading phones, netbooks and other mobile devices. This comes less than a week after Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the audience at the Atlantic's First Draft of History event that the future of the internet wouldn't be on your desktop, or your laptop, but in your hand when you're walking down the street. That future may have been announced this morning.

On Friday Schmidt told James Fallows that according to Moore's Law,

"in 10 years every computer device you use will be 100 times cheaper or 100 times faster." That means, he said, that even more than today, computers will be able to do things they're very good at (like remembering things) and people will be able to do things they're very good at (like communicating and making decisions). "And so eventually we'll all sort of settle down to a new world where all these people have mobile devices. You have all of the world's information ... in your hands."

The Verizon-Google couple will try to roll out two phones by the end of the year, and the companies hope to eventually collaborate on smart phones, netbooks and other mobile devices that will be able to run Google's Android, in addition to Google Voice, the cheap internet-based phone program that Apple recently rejected for its iPhone.

From Google's perspective, this isn't merely about taking on the iPhone with an open-source alternative that runs on Google. It's also about competing in the mobile internet space, which Schmidt explicitly told last week's audience he considered the future of Internet browsing. Google, which makes most of its revenue through online advertising, likely sees these phone collaborations as portals for more clicks and more ad revenue through the Android-enabled phones.