Google Android Phone Debut Reportedly Sept. 23 - InformationWeek

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9/12/2008
05:27 PM
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Google Android Phone Debut Reportedly Sept. 23

While the mobile operating system will be on a plethora of devices, Google made a strategic decision to have it launch on a single HTC handset.

The first handset featuring Google's Android operating system is set to debut with T-Mobile USA on Sept. 23, according to a Reuters report.

The news agency on Friday cited "sources familiar with the plans," and representatives from Google and T-Mobile did not confirm the date.

Google announced the Android platform and the Open Handset Alliance last November with the goal of bringing the openness of the Internet to a mobile environment. This ambitious plan is a direct challenge to the established players in the industry, and the first release has been highly anticipated.

Andy Rubin, Google's director of mobile platforms, told Reuters that Android is in the final stages and that the first handset will be made by Taiwan's High Tech Computer. While the mobile operating system will be on a plethora of devices, the companies made a strategic decision to have it launch on a single handset.

"Google wanted to make sure that we had enough control over the hardware to make sure the software worked," Rubin said.

Earlier this week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the company's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch has seen more than 100 million downloads in the first 60 days. This shows a hunger for mobile programs, and Rubin sees the Android Market as a major driver for Android adoption.

Google is hoping to win over developers by being more open than Apple's offering. With Android Market, content creators will be able to upload, describe, and publish content in a process similar to posting a video on YouTube. By contrast, Apple approves all entries in its store and takes a 30% cut from any application sold.

"We made a strategic decision not to revenue share with the developers," said Rubin. "We will basically pass through any revenue to the carrier or the developer."

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