T-Mobile USA And HTC To Offer First Android Phone - InformationWeek

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Commentary
8/15/2008
09:14 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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T-Mobile USA And HTC To Offer First Android Phone

HTC will launch the first commercially available smartphone running the Android platform on T-Mobile USA's network, according to a new report. It will be available by Christmas, and maybe as early as October. This is not a big surprise.

HTC will launch the first commercially available smartphone running the Android platform on T-Mobile USA's network, according to a new report. It will be available by Christmas, and maybe as early as October. This is not a big surprise.HTC has confirmed its commitment to producing an Android phone sometime this year again and again. It is the one hardware manufacturer that has publicly said that it is going to give Android a chance. HTC's CEO said as much in November 2007, shortly after Google announced Android.

Given that it takes about 12 to 18 months to create a new mobile platform, I expected the end of 2008 would be about as early as we would see an Android phone. HTC is moving at a good clip if it believes it can have something available for sale by November. HTC already knows how to make good hardware. It is more a matter of waiting for Google and the developer community to finish work on Android. Recent reports have offered conflicting statements about the readiness of Android, with some saying it will be 2009 before Android is ready, and others saying it is on target for this year.

But HTC is only the first piece of the puzzle.

Adding a carrier partner to subsidize this new device is just as important if it is to be widely adopted. While I believe that the excitement surrounding Android is probably enough to generate big sales without subsidization, a lower price point will reduce the barrier to entry for many. T-Mobile, as we all know, is a member of Google's Open Handset Alliance. So is HTC. That the two would pair together and be first out of the gate with an Android phone just makes sense.

All of this has been confirmed, to a degree, by sources cited in a New York Times article that was published early this morning. Both T-Mobile and Google confirmed that Android will be ready this year, but didn't go any further than that.

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