Industry sources report Google is negotiating with Sprint and Verizon about the development of phone software and services:
Google, owner of the world's most-popular Internet search engine, may build a phone operating system or applications, said the people, who wanted anonymity because the talks are private.
``It portends a pretty interesting combo,'' said Mike McGuire, an analyst at Stamford, Connecticut-based research firm Gartner Inc.
Google shares rose to a record yesterday on speculation the company would extend its dominance of Internet advertising into wireless devices. For Verizon and Sprint, ranked second and third in U.S. mobile-phone customers, new programs may help bolster revenue from data services. Google's help would also give them an edge against larger rival AT&T Inc., the exclusive U.S. service provider for Apple Inc.'s iPhone.
Verizon Wireless spokesman Jim Gerace confirmed the companies have talked, declining to comment further. Sprint spokesman James Fisher and Google spokeswoman Erin Fors both refused to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported the talks yesterday, saying Google would make an announcement in two weeks.