Commentary
9/30/2008
03:51 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary

LG, Samsung Going To Be Late To The Android Party

A report coming out of Korea suggests that handset manufacturers LG and Samsung won't have Android handsets in the market until the second half of 2009. Will that be too late?



A report coming out of Korea suggests that handset manufacturers LG and Samsung won't have Android handsets in the market until the second half of 2009. Will that be too late?HTC and partners Google and T-Mobile announced the G1 handset last week. The G1 will be the first to market running the Android platform. But it won't be the last. LG, Samsung, and other OEMs are members of the Open Handset Alliance, and are probably already working on Android handsets of their own.

Telecoms Korea confirms that LG and Samsung are researching Android, but it also says that the soonest we'll see Android handsets from either is the second half of 2009. That puts them nine months behind HTC.

Whether or not the two firms planned on that time frame, they're taking a conservative approach to Android. Perhaps they're going to wait to see how the market responds to the G1 and subsequent Android handsets from HTC and others. Given that the G1 already is being preordered in droves, that says there is interest in the platform -- at least in the United States.

What's more important than sales figures of the G1 is how the platform evolves over time and what sort of ecosystem is built around the Android Market. If Google and its developers address the faults of the current version of Android, they'll have a capable mobile platform that could well snag a significant percentage of the mobile market.

Given the volume of handsets sold by LG and Samsung across different platforms, it only makes sense that they'll offer Android handsets of their own. The only question is when.

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