Wow! (updated)

Of course, 2008 is a ways away yet, but it will be interesting to see how this goes: Verizon Wireless promises openness to any softwarepdf

Verizon Wireless promised on Tuesday to allow its customers to download any application they want to their cell phones by the end of 2008, appearing to cave in to demands by Web search leader Google Inc.

Later, Chairman Martin, having an otherwise not-so-great day (pdf), doesn’t miss the chance to try to make sure Verizon sticks to its plans:

I was pleased to hear the announcement by Verizon Wireless of its plans to introduce a new option for customers throughout the country–an option that will allow customers to use any device and to use any applications that they choose on the Verizon Wireless network. As I noted when we adopted open network rules for our upcoming spectrum auction, wireless customers should be able to use the wireless device of their choice and download whatever software they want onto it. I continue to believe that more openness—at the network, device, and application level—helps foster innovation and enhances consumers’ freedom and choice in purchasing wireless service. As I said at the time, I had hoped that our auction rules would ultimately encourage all of the wireless industry to adopt a more open and consumer-friendly industry approach. Today’s announcement, along with the Open Handset Alliance’s previous announcement of an open platform capable of working on multiple networks, is a significant step towards fulfilling these goals. I am optimistic that Verizon Wireless’s commitment along with the upcoming spectrum auction will ensure an exciting new era in wireless technology for the benefit of all consumers.

Later: Verizon Plans Wider Options for Cellphone Users; also Verizon To Open Its Wireless Networkpdf