G1 Is Just the Start for Android
The clue is right there in the name, but the High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) G1 Android phone, unveiled this week, is unlikely to be alone in utilizing the open-source software platform for too long. (See Slideshow: Switching On Android.)
Android backer Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has always painted the Android operating system as a "platform" that can be used in many devices rather than being tied to a particular product such as Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone.
And there are already signs that vendors are working on other devices using the operating system.
"We're focusing on the G1 right now," Keith Nowak, HTC's senior public relations manager told Unstrung this week. "But you could certainly see us doing more with the platform in the future."
In fact, "four out of five" of the world's top cellphone manufacturers are now considering Android devices, according to Joel Espelien, VP of strategy at Android development partner PacketVideo Corp.
The list of top vendors includes Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC), and LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , although none has yet announced an Android phone.
Espelien is keen to emphasize that Android devices will run from "showcase" devices (such as the G1), which emcompass a wide range of features, to niche devices like dedicated camera and music phones.
The devices could also spread onto WiMax netowrks in 2009. (See Android on WiMax in 2009?.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung