The fight for smartphone dominance is escalating — Verizon Wireless and Google have reportedly joined forces to create a tablet computer to take on Apple's iPad. Details are scant, but the device would use Google's Android operating system. Verizon's CEO Lowell McAdam says it will offer users a "great experience." But some say backing an iPad rival would hinder Verizon's rumored talks with Apple to carry its popular iPhone, currently available only through frequently criticized AT&T. Could a Verizon-Google deal keep iPhone users tied to their old wireless carrier?

This spells doom for a Verizon-Apple deal: "Apple can’t be too pleased with Verizon so publicly backing Google," says MG Siegler in TechCrunch. Steve Jobs has already said that "Apple's iPhone was at war with Google’s Android platform." With Verizon joining the enemy, Apple is more likely to "re-up with AT&T and forget about a Verizon iPhone" altogether.
"Did Verizon's Google tablet just pour cold water on the Verizon iPhone rumors?"

A Google tablet gives Verizon the upper hand: This is just a "ploy" by Verizon to get "leverage in its negotiations with Apple for the iPad and iPhone," says Dan Frommer in Business Insider. Of course, "it's possible that talks with Apple and Verizon have completely broken down." But by the looks of it, "Verizon is just playing Google to get Steve Jobs to hand over the iPhone and iPad on favorable terms."
"Google tablet story just Verizon's ply to get leverage over Apple"

Maybe Verizon never really stood a chance to get the iPhone, anyway: It's an "interesting theory" — that the "Verizon-Google tablet is a false product cooked up ... to get a sweeter deal from Apple," says Ian Paul in PC World. But that "assumes" that Verizon and Apple are actually "in negotiations" — which, so far, is "just a rumor." Fortunately for customers, Verizon says it will release "more details later this week." So sit tight.
"Verizon-Google tablet: Five burning questions"