Android This Week: Two Droids Hit Big Red; Carrier Channels Debut

gigaom_icon_google-android1Verizon (s vz) has been all over the Android (s goog) news this week, with two of the hottest phones finally arriving on the scene. The Motorola (s mot) Droid, a stylish phone almost as thin as the iPhone but with a sliding QWERTY keyboard, debuted Friday. Early reviews are not finding the keyboard to be much of a bonus, but it’s amazing to find one at all in a thin handset. Verizon is also offering the HTC Droid Eris for just $99 with a contract. It’s shipping with the HTC Sense interface on top of the stock Android UI, making it the cheapest phone thus equipped.
Some Droid phone reviewers have taken note of the Verizon Channel in the Android Market. This channel offers apps that have met Verizon’s approval before offering them to customers. T-Mobile announced its own channel for the Android Market this week. Both channels allow customers to buy apps and have them charged to the phone bill, eliminating the need for a credit card transaction.
Meanwhile, two recently announced e-book readers could have more than the Android OS in common. Spring Design this week sued Barnes & Noble (s bks) over the Nook reader, claiming it has features the bookseller gleaned from information Spring Design shared with B&N under NDA. It has requested an injunction to prevent the Nook from being sold.