Android This Week: Verizon, Dell Join the Party; e-Books Abound

gigaom_icon_google-android1The Android (s goog) world is getting bigger all the time. After much speculation, Verizon (s vz) this week confirmed the introduction of its first Android phone with a slick advertising campaign. The Verizon Droid, which is expected to be announced next week, will be made by Motorola. (The handset was previously dubbed the Sholes.) The ad campaign includes TV spots in the U.S. listing the various ways that the Droid is better than the iPhone (s aapl). Based on press kits sent to the media, the Droid is expected to start shipping Nov. 9.

Meanwhile, recent announcements are making it clear that Android isn’t just a platform for smartphones — it can be leveraged on other devices as well. No fewer than three e-book readers based on the OS were announced this week, including Barnes & Noble’s (s bks) Nook, Spring Design’s Alex, and enTourage’s eDGe. All three of the readers bring unique qualities to the e-book reader space, and having open-source Android onboard opens the door to a wave of possible applications on the devices. Given the closed nature of the Kindle, Amazon (s amzn) could have reason to be nervous.

Plus, Dell (s dell) was spotted in Thailand showing off a UMPC with Android under the hood. The 5-inch Dell Streak has no voice capability, but uses Wi-Fi and 3G to provide ubiquitous connectivity. Not much is known about the little gadget, or if the company will add it to its offerings. But the video demo of the device shows a very compelling handheld web tablet.