No 'confirming or denying' by Verizon, but Motorola's Tao Android phone spotted at CTIA

Motorola's Cliq, an Android phone that will be sold by T-Mobile for $200, was on display

SAN DIEGO -- Verizon Wireless and Google Inc. this week announced Android phones, but an earlier report that Motorola's new Tao Android smartphone (photo, below) might be announced by Verizon on Oct. 6 has proven to be inaccurate.

A Verizon spokesman said Wednesday, "We are not confirming or denying" a report carried recently by MobileCrunch that predicted Verizon would likely announce the Tao on Oct. 6, and would ship the device on Dec. 1.

However, Verizon is apparently at work with Motorola on the Tao (also dubbed Sholes or Droid), based on comments from several analysts and other observers at the wireless trade show International CTIA, who confirmed they had seen the device.

At Motorola's booth at CTIA, a Motorola worker smiled Wednesday when asked about Tao, but then said, "We're not confirming anything about that, only that there will be more Android phones" in addition to the recently announced Cliq.

The Cliq was on display for the first time, drawing excited attention from visitors, and will be sold by T-Mobile USA for $200. Pre-orders of the Cliq for existing T-Mobile customers begin Oct. 19, and store sales will begin nationwide on Nov 2.

The Tao has excited mobile enthusiasts because it is reportedly the thinnest slider QWERTY-keyboard smartphone, measuring 13.7 mm thick (about half an inch) and sporting a 3.7-inch touch-screen display and 16 GB of internal storage.

MobileCrunch said it is supposed to run the next generation of Android 2.0, code-named Eclair, but that release is not going to be available until the second quarter of 2010, said Gartner Inc. analyst Ken Dulaney, meaning it would be too late for the Tao if released Dec. 1.

Motorola Tao
One supposed shot of Motorola's Tao.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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