Optical/IP Networks

The Android Shopping List

There should be between 10 and 12 Android-powered devices available on the marketplace by early 2010, as the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) open source operating system has now been taken up by most of world's largest cellphone vendors.

It has been almost a year since T-Mobile US Inc. launched the first Android phone, the High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) G1, in the U.S. HTC has made much of the running in the Android market in 2009, the Taiwanese vendor now has four models out or coming soon.

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC), however, have now launched two Android phones and -- as you'll see from the table below -- Motorola Computer Group and other vendors are hard on their heels:

Motorola is seen by many as the vendor betting the most on the Android platform. The firm has officially unveiled its "Cliq" Android phone and is expected to unveil a high-end phone on the platform by the end of the year. Motorola's co-CEO and mobile device, Sanjay Jha, has pinned much of the vendor's 2010 strategy on the platform. (See Motorola: My First Android, Motorola's Android Outlook, and Could Moto Mess Up the Cliq?.)

Looking at the table, however, it becomes clear that HTC is very much tied to the Android platform as well and will be Motorola's key rival in 2010. The vendor is currently the clear leader in the Android market with four announced devices and more expected in 2010.

HTC had previously worked purely on Windows Mobile smartphones before its embrace of Android last year. HTC's move shows that Google's OS is actually more of a competitor for the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) operating system and Symbian Foundation code than the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone, for which the Google "phone" was originally perceived to be competition.

T-Mobile, meanwhile, is the global carrier with the most invested in Android. While there are several carriers carrying Android phones in Western Europe, T-Mobile is only just starting to face competition on Android in the U.S. (See Sprint to Offer Android HTC Hero.)

Despite being backed by several major Asian-Pac device manufacturers, the Android platform hasn't yet made much of an impact in their domestic markets. Expect that to start to change next year.

The only device on the list that's not a phone is the Acer Inc. D520 netbook, which boots Android and Windows simultaneously, and lets the user pick which one they'd like to work in. We included it for the sake of completeness.

The Android market is fast-moving and -- right now at least -- frequently changes. So if there's any gadget you feel we've missed, any new devices coming, or any comments or corrections on the table please alert us via the message board below. We'll be happy to update the chart.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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