By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
October 6, 2009

The Verizon (VZ) and Google (GOOG) joint webcast Tuesday announcing the two companies’ plans to challenge Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone was long on enthusiasm but short on detail.

“This partnership is a big big deal for us,” said Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who shared the virtual stage with Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Wireless, to formally announce a partnership 18 months in the making

According to a press release issued earlier Tuesday morning, the two companies are co-developing applications, services and devices that promise to “leverage the Verizon Wireless network and the best of the Android open platform.”

But there were no devices announced at the press conference, and there will be only two released before the end of the year. Eventually, said McAdam, Verizon will be selling whole families of “game changing” Android products — feature phones, smartphones, PDAs, netbooks — and attracting “thousands of developers.”

For details — costs, manufacturers, voice and data pricing plans — we’ll have to wait a few more weeks.

And to attract developers in the numbers Apple claims to have — 125,000, according to Steve Jobs — Google and Verizon will have some catching up to do.

See also: Verizon vs. AT&T: There’s a map for that

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