Verizon Android Phone On The Way?

verizon-android-phoneIn a potentially significant turn of events, Verizon Wireless – who has taken an opposition to Android thus far and seems to have fundamental differences with Google – is now hiring an Android Devices Expert to work Full-Time in their Waltham, Massachussets offices. The job listing is found publicly available on Careers.VerizonWireless.com with job ID 233333 and pointed out by  an eagle-eyed Phandroid (Thanks Brian!) who has been persistently scoping any and all Verizon Android news.

According to the job listing, the position will be focused on developing Android applications on “existing or pre-commercial handsets” (whatever that means) with an initial focus on Voicemail applications. Looks like Verizon wants to get Visual Voice Mail working on their first Android Phone!

Here is the kicker – skills listed as “preferred” include experience with RIM JDK AND experience with Android. Why would an Android Devices Expert require knowledge in the RIM JDK… and why is it listed ABOVE experience with Android on a job position specifically targeting an Android expert? Could a BlackBerry Android Phone be headed to Verizon Wireless be in the works?

Ladies and gentlemen this is nothing short of HUGE news for Android, the entire mobile world and certainly Verizon Wireless customers. We knew that Verizon Wireless and AT&T would hold out on playing the Android game until they felt they had to play and conecede to the competitive advantage of Android’s Open Source platform. We argued that would happen soon rather than later almost a year ago and suggested they owe it to their customers and shareholders… this job posting is proving us right.

There is a LOT to discuss here folks. What does Verizon have cooking here? How is BlackBerry involved, if at all? Will it be a phone they are working on or some other device integrating Android? What is the timeframe here? Is this for Verizon Wireless’ proactive adoption of Android or part of the spectrum they won in the auction that is required to be “open” to some degree?

Discuss. This is going to be fun!

Here is a copy/paste of the job listing just in case it mysteriously disappears:

Job Title: Android Devices Expert
Job ID: 233333
Location: MA – Waltham

Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Responsibilities

This is a senior specialist position for mobile devices on technical track. This position will work as subject matter expert and lead for Java based devices. It will be responsible for end to end delivery of innovative java based mobile applications on existing or pre-commercial handsets with an initial focus on voicemail applications. It is also expected to drive application development; conduct required testing and provides production support.

A qualified candidate will:
– Provide leadership to a team of designers and development engineers throughout the application development process
– Lead multi-departmental teams in an effort to deploy and integrate voicemail services on devices
– Manage relationships with device vendors and certification bodies, as well as internal marketing teams

40% It will be responsible for architecting device requirements and writing detailed device requirements specification, high and detailed level design documents
20% Interface with device OEMs and OS/platform developers to ensure compatibility and stability with regard to the voice products and applications.
20% Research and understand new devices technology, conduct code reviews, design and requirements sessions, quality assurance and manage vendors
20% Develop application prototype and framework for new devices

Qualifications
– BS degree in EE or CS. MS or MBA preferred
– 4+ years experience working with Core Java technologies
– 3+ years of mobile application development experience on j2me, Android, Limo or other java based platforms
– Hands-on experience XML, web services, XSLT
– Ability to compose technical specifications, including requirements specification, API specifications, Functional specifications
– Deep understanding of the mobile device industry and trends in mobile devices
– Strong business knowledge
– Vendor and outsourcing management experience
– Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines, complete important time sensitive tasks, adapt quickly to last minute changes and manage multiple projects simultaneously
– Strong Facilitator
– Strong oral and written communication skills
– Good analytical skills
– Attention to details

Preferred

– Familiar with Verizon wireless systems, data centers and processes a big plus
– Familiar with Web based technologies (DHTML/CSS, JSP/servlet/ASP, web servers, Tomcat/JBoss/Weblogic/WebSphere/IIS)
– Experience with RIM JDK is a big plus
– Experience with C++/C/.NET/ASP
– Experience with Android
– Experience working with Relational database and SQL
– Understanding in the following technical areas: memory management, file systems, networking, multi-threading programming
Equal Employment Opportunity
We are an equal opportunity employer m/f/d/v.

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  • Shane

    I think we’re getting way too excited way too early here.

    I mean, Verizon is also working on getting the iphone after the AT&T exclusivity ends, but we all know that we will not see a Verizon iphone for at least a year from now, and maybe two years.

    I think the same holds here for Android. Yes, eventually every carrier will have Android phones, just like they do blackberries, WM, and S60 phones now. But just because they are looking for a Android developer, doesn’t mean we’re going to see a Android Verizon phone soon.

    Even if they hired someone today, it takes months to get a game plan together and start developing. Plus, most developers around the world are focusing on GSM phones that can be deployed around the world at launch. Verizon will still be operating CDMA until 2010. So they would need to get someone to build a CDMA version for them. Not a big deal, but that takes ramp up time for a separate manufacturing line.

    Lastly, is Verizon’s infamously slow testing process. Even when a phone is done and begins testing, Verizon has been notorious for taking months to give their blessing. Sometimes even longer when it comes to smartphones.

    So you put all that together, and I highly doubt we will see a Verizon Android phone for at least a year from now.

  • Rob Jackson

    I think it is definitely reason for excitement. Isn’t them looking for an Android expert now with the potential for an Android Phone in 2010 better than them looking for an Android phone next year with the potential for an Android Phone in 2011?

    Verizon has been nothing short of icy in regards to Android up until now. This is a turning point that I think 70+ million people (being Verizon customers) would be exteremely happy to know about. Heck, it could even keep people put on Verizon while they wait for some type of Android offering instead of jumping ship now.

    The fact that they are working on it is cause for excitement enough, regardless of when a physical product will be ready for market. I think lots of loyal VZW customers would agree.

  • pn

    More likely they ask for this mix of skills so an application can be ported from an existing RIM JDK application to an Android one. Concluding Verizon are going to run Android on Blackberry hardware from this sort of job posting would be a bit foolish. That would be really quite a stretch wouldn’t it?

  • NR Bovee

    It’s going to be too little, too late. I’m waiting for the next generation of Android phones to hit the market, and ETF be damned, I’ll change carriers with no hesitation. Verizon has a trademark on mediocrity, and I’m sure this will be no different.

  • Phil

    I agree with pn. The most likely reasoning is that due to both Android and RIM being basically nothing but Java they want to try and make the most of the person that fills this position to be able to help out on both platforms.

  • Spockmo

    The problem with the Verizon move is the RJT protocol which was introduced by RIM in 2008. What about the impending legal cases? What about the agreement about carrier preference between the parties? Sure an application can be ported from an existing RIM JDK application to an Android application but what happens if this not the preferred method of development over time? Too many questions to make rash judgments at this point. HR Bovee says, “Verizon has a trademark on mediocrity” – did the acquisition of Alltel help matters? What is going on here?

  • http://Xtremelabs.com Ray Sharma

    This is good digging. While the theory is plausible it can just as easily be explained as follows – there is not much of a market of Android developers (we are one such shop) so asking for RIM sdk experience is a reasonable substitute. We’ve also done work on Blackberry and I can tell you that if you can use the RIM sdk then you should not have a problem with any of the other major platforms!