Samsung confirms three Android phones for ’09


6 Apr 2009

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Mobile phone manufacturer Samsung has confirmed that it will be bringing three different Google Android-based handsets to market in 2009.

This is something that had been promised since last year, but was delayed due to the operator’s concerns over Google’s vision, Samsung’s executive vice-president of global product strategy, Won-Pyo Hong, told Forbes magazine last week.

Samsung’s first Android phone will be on the market by June, Hong said, but this will not be available in the US market – the next two releases will go to separate operators, one being T-Mobile.

Hong did not specify whether the June release date would be for Europe, but this market will only be getting one Samsung device, which will be distributed across different operators.

Samsung’s three forthcoming Android handsets will be the second wave of phones running on Google’s mobile operating system (OS). The only Android-run handset to date is T-Mobile’s G1 device, which is not yet available in Ireland through any operators.

While Google’s Android OS is open source, and therefore has been hailed as the mobile OS that will open up the handset to behave more like a PC or netbook with the ability to customise and install as the user wishes, the reality of this openness remains to be seen.

The promise of a completely open handset, whereby the customer can choose their own mail client, browser, music player etc, looks to be a bone of contention for the operators and handset manufacturers – Samsung being a case in point, with the delay in releasing its handsets following “concerns” over Google’s vision.

Last week’s speculation that Hewlett-Packard is considering developing netbooks based on the Android OS, following the firm’s admission that it was looking at the technology right now, is now looking like stale news.

As reported in the New York Times, T-Mobile has just announced that it plans to sell both a home phone and a tablet device running on Android some time later this year.

By Marie Boran