Verizon customers snapping up Android devices will get an extra special feature as the U.S. top wireless player is partnering with ride-sharing service Lyft to pre-load Lyft's mobile app on a select set of smartphones.
There will also be discounts in play for drivers and Lyft customers as part of a new partnership that Verizon and Lyft announced on Thursday.
It could prove to be a winning strategy given Verizon's extensive customer base and the increasing popularity of ride-sharing services with the tech savvy crowd. It would not be surprising to soon hear that number two carrier, AT&T, makes a similar move with Lyft's arch rival Uber.
Verizon is calling the strategy a "multi-tiered partnership" that will kick off next Monday, May 11, by offering a monthly access discount for drivers through Lyft's Accelerate Premier Driver Rewards program. New or existing Verizon subscribers will be able to shop with and register for the discount using a newly created app.
The news comes as competition within the wireless smartphone segment and the ride-sharing service industry keeps growing, prompting players to initiate new marketing programs and services to lure in new customers and keep existing ones as well.
As of Thursday, Verizon began pre-loading select new Android smartphones with the Lyft app, which will give those handset owners instant access to the ride-sharing service and avoid having to download and set up the app.
"Lyft represents an emerging and innovative partner for Verizon in the transportation and sharing economy space. This is an exciting opportunity for us to chart new territories and create a broader user base," stated Russ Preite, region president for Verizon Wireless, in a press release regarding the partnership.
In a blog post announcing the united effort, Lyft says the partnership was built with both passengers and drivers in mind.
"With Verizon's support, we will offer more valuable perks to drivers while continuing to grow the number of passengers who rely on Lyft for their everyday rides," stated the blog.
The article also noted that the discount program and app access are just the beginning of initiatives the two partners will be working on in the months ahead.