Verizon allies with LG for vendor's first U.S. Android phone, the Ally

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is launching LG's Ally, the manufacturer's first Android phone for the U.S. market, expanding its lineup of phones running on Google's mobile platform.

lg ally android iron man 2 verizon wirelessThe Ally was previewed earlier this month as part of a marketing campaign between LG and Marvel Studios for Marvel's "Iron Man 2" movie, and rumors had been circulating for weeks that Verizon was LG's carrier partner. The phone represents one of the first steps LG has taken to address its weak smartphone performance this year, especially in the U.S. market.

The phone runs Android 2.1 and features a 3.2-inch touchscreen display and a full, slide-out Qwerty keyboard. Additionally, the phone has several other bells and whistles, including WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, S-GPS for enhanced location accuracy and a 3.2-megapixel camera. The Ally costs $99.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. Verizon will begin taking pre-orders for the phone tomorrow, and it will go on sale in stores May 20.

LG has made improving its smartphone performance a key priority this year, mirroring the ambitions of its South Korean rival Samsung. LG to date has released a handful of Android phones, but mainly for the South Korean market.

In other Android news, T-Mobile USA said it will launch the Garminfone in June for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after a mail-in rebate. The carrier announced the device last month.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Phone Scoop post

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