The Motorola phone is the first to offer the Android 2.0 operating system, which features high-speed Web browsing, voice-activated search, high-resolution graphics and access to a wide range of Google applications, including maps and news. It has both a touch screen and a keyboard.
Verizon’s 12 local stores — nine free-standing and three mall-based — will be offerin
g the phone, which sells for $199.99 and requires a voice calling plan starting at $39.99 monthly and a data plan beginning at $29.99 per month.
Verizon outlets not in a mall will open at 8 a.m. Friday, an hour earlier than usual, to accommodate what is expected to be significant traffic.
Verizon spokesman John O’Malley said Wednesday that other local retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy, will offer the item once the launch occurs. “We’ve stocked our stores with inventory and believe we’re prepared,” O’Malley said.